Jeff Bezos, the world's wealthiest individual, has been famous for his longterm view as he's grown Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) into a giant global company as its founder, chairman and CEO. But that may have changed as he sells billions of dollars worth of Amazon, whose shares have fallen by more than 12% off their record high in mid-July, slashing the company's market value by $125 billion. By one estimate, Bezos already has sold more Amazon in 2019 than any previous year.
A Week of Rapid-Fire Sales
According to Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed this week, Bezos first sold nearly 1 million shares of Amazon last week for a total of roughly $1.84 billion. He then sold more than 500,000 additional shares on Thursday and Friday for a total of about $1 billion. This sell-off period is the first time that Bezos has disposed of shares in 2019, but it's already his biggest selling year to date, per a report by Bloomberg. All told, Bezos has sold close to $3 billion in shares in the space of a week as Amazon faces one of its longest losing streaks since its founding.
Selling Near Peak
Bezos was selling near the peak price of $2020 that the stock reached in mid-July. Specifically he unloaded shares priced anywhere from over $1,810 to close to $1,900. A recent report by MarketWatch indicates that Amazon's declines last week marked its longest losing streak since July 2006, with its market value plunging from just under $1 trillion to around $870 billion. The report also speculates that the selloff could be strategic. Bezos indicated last year that he would funnel about $1 billion per year of his own funds into his privately held space company, Blue Origin. This figure could increase as the company aims for its first commercial space flights.
Still the Richest Man
Despite selling off a huge block of shares, Bezos remains the richest man in the world for the time being. He maintains a roughly 12% stake in Amazon, per Bloomberg, valued at over $110 billion at last count. This is in spite of the fact that his total fortune has declined by about $15 billion over the course of the year.