AAPL chief operating officer sells $30M stock, likely to pay taxes

AAPL’s chief operating officer Jeff Williams has sold more than 187,000 shares, worth a fraction under $30M. It’s the first sale by a company executive in more than four months.

While eyebrows are being raised in some quarters, with Twitter commenters suggesting it points to bad news ahead, the timing suggests a mundane explanation…

Trading software company TrendSpider tweeted details of the sale.

Apple sees its first insider sale in over 4 months with the Chief Operating Officer dumping $30M in stock this week.

Some of the replies to the tweet were predictable.

“They hauled their hiring spree recently. Consumers don’t typically react too well to news like that. Watching this closely.”

“Uh oh, looks like the big boss is bailing on Apple.”

“Same week Team heads to China for the first time since pre-covid. Something going on with China imo.”

“I remember reading about Steve Jobs dumping his right before apple was dumped.”

“Am a big fan of $AAPL but in this backdrop only 10% away from all-time high, looks rich and perhaps COO agrees.”

The explanation is likely as unexciting as it gets, however. It’s tax season, and it’s commonplace for Williams and other executives to sell shares in order to pay their tax bills.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that senior execs, who have inside knowledge about the company’s performance, are required to schedule stock transactions ahead of time, in order to reduce the risk of them taking advantage of their knowledge to buy or sell at an opportune time. All such transactions have to be disclosed to the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Williams has been touted as a front-runner to replace CEO Tim Cook when he eventually steps down. Cook said back in 2021 that this would likely be within 10 years.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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