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Facebook: Take a Hint from Insiders

Facebook’s third quarter earnings report, with revenue gaining 36%, sent the stock up 20% after it was released.  But that didn’t stop insiders from dumping shares as soon as the opportunity struck.

Last Wednesday another trading lock-up period expired, and the door was opened for Facebook employees to sell 234 million shares.  And they stampeded through the door as soon as it opened.  The stock fell almost 4%.

Another nearly 800 million shares will be available for trading on November 14th and another 156 million shares in December.  Altogether, more than 1 billion shares held by insiders, early investors and employees will hit the market by the end of the year.  That’s going to amount to a lot of downward pressure on the share price.

The movements in the stock – gains on earnings and declines on lock-out expirations – are a reminder that insiders own a lot of Facebook.  And it’s a reminder that the stock is a good deal for insiders (who bought shares cheap), but not so much for retail investors.

The stock is down more than 40% since its IPO earlier this year.  While there is not enough chart history to allow any solid technical indicators for a long-term buy or sell, a quick glance at a chart of the stock since its debut says enough.


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