Ever since its impressive earnings report at the end of July Facebook's stock has been on the rebound. Now, with it finally trading around its IPO price, and at least one person is making good.
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg sold 2.37 million shares of stock at $38 a share, according to a securities filing released late last week.
2,274,095 of the shares sold were Class A Common Stock that went for a price of $38.39 a share. Another 91,500 shares went for $38.84 each, while 6,496 sold for $38.38 and another 200 sold for $38.93 each. That added up to a payday of over $91 million.
This is not the first time Sandberg has cashed out some of her company stock. But this was Sandberg's largest stock sale, by far.
After the company’s second lockup ended in early November of last year, Sandberg sold around 353,000 shares. 13,392 shares were sold at $20.79, and the other 339,512 were sold at $21.09 a share, netting her $7.4 million. Sandberg also sold roughly 176,000 shares, for $4.2 million, in late November.
In December, she netted herself a total of around $26.2 million, selling 906,412 shares of her shares for $27.678, while another 40,176 shares were sold at $27.7403 each.
In addition to being COO, Sandberg, of course, has become well known recently for her Lean In campaign. The term “lean in” refers to Sandberg’s observations that women tend to “lean back” from their careers at the most critical points for fear that they won’t be able to balance career obligations with their obligations as wives and mothers. Her book, entitled, “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead,” became a best seller.
So what has been causing Facebook's stock to all of the sudden become so hot that Sandberg could sell for that much money?
Mobile ad revenue.
In its most recent quarterly earnings report, Facebook impressed investors with its mobile ad growth. Advertising revenue was $1.60 billion, or 88% of total revenue. It increased 61% from the same quarter last year. Mobile accounted for 41% of that revenue.
"Even with growth expected to slow in 2014 and 2015, the base is so much higher than we anticipated exiting 2013. While we are lowering our 2013-2015 desktop ad revenue estimates as usage fades, our mobile numbers have risen dramatically and simply cannot be ignored," said BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield in a report.
Elsewhere in its Q2 report, Facebook posted revenue of $1.181 billion for the quarter, while adjusted earnings per share came in at 19 cents, both beating Wall Street expectations.
As a result, Facebook's stock is now trading at IPO price for the first time since its debut.
As of Friday, the company's stock was sitting at $38.50 a share, having gone down 0.10%, or 4 cents, in trading during the day.
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