Streetwise Professor

October 19, 2012

Do No Evil. Got it. Strong Quarter. Got It. Like I Said: The Most Orwellian Corporation Ever

Filed under: Economics — The Professor @ 4:10 pm

Google insiders, including Larry Page, Sergei Brin, and Eric Schmidt were big sellers of stock in late-September through mid-October.

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) chairman Eric Schmidt was very active in late September, as he executed 226 transactions in just three days from Sept. 24 to 26, selling off more than 211,000 shares at per-share prices between $742 and $764 per share. He came away with about $158 million.

Other noteworthy insiders are Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) CEO Larry Page and co-founder Sergey Brin, who had conducted several insider sales in the first half of this month, totaling about $120 million in value and the pair spared themselves about $12 million in combined losses. Brin conducted a series of transactions Tuesday, October 2, selling 83,334 shares at between $750-$765 a share, with a combined value of at least $62.5 million. Page had been selling shares regularly over several days. Starting October 8, he sold 20,833 shares at $754-$762 a share for a value of $15.7 million; 20833 shares at $744-$760 October 9, for a value of $15.5 million; 20,833 shares at prices between $741 and $746 per share October 10, for a value of $15.4 million; and 20,835 shares at prices between $752 and $758 October 11, a value of $15.7 million.

So tres hombres sold about $278 million in stock at a time they had to  know Q3 results would be awful. Thereby saving themselves about $28 mil.

Let’s revisit Larry’s remarks regarding these results, shall we?:

“We had a strong quarter,” Page’s statement said. “Revenue was up 45 percent year-on-year, and, at just fourteen years old, we cleared our first $14 billion revenue quarter. I am also really excited about the progress we’re making creating a beautifully simple, intuitive Google experience across all devices.”

“I’m really happy with our business…Not bad for a teenager,” Page added on the earnings call.

If it was such a freaking strong quarter, why were y’all (hey, I’m a Texan now) selling, not buying?  Do you think we’re teenagers-glue huffing teenagers, at that-who will fall for that smack?

Dunno enough about insider trading laws to know if tres hombres are at any legal risk.  But if they are on the right side of the law, they are definitely on the wrong side of the optics, especially given Google’s predilection for moral preening. Not that the media fanboys and fangirls who fall at Google’s feet will point that out.

Like I’ve said before: The Most Orwellian Corporation Ever.  If you had any doubts before, you shouldn’t now.  If you do, you aren’t paying attention.

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1 Comment »

  1. Professor,

    Stop it! You’re killing my faith in humanity! Next you’re gonna tell me that Instagram is not worth a billion bucks, and most of it was a kickback to Facebook?

    Comment by So? — October 21, 2012 @ 9:32 pm

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