Someone has made $22 million by selling 1.5 million Apple Computer shares and sources are certain that someone is company founder Steve Jobs.
Jobs had registered to sell the shares a few weeks ago but claimed registration was a formality and did not mean he intended to sell his stake. Sources said if Jobs was not the seller, it was a very strange coincidence that someone was selling exactly the number of shares he has in Apple. An Apple representative confirmed the sale but did not know who sold the stock and Jobs has made no comment.
After leaving Apple, Jobs had kept just one Apple share before he received 1.5 million of them in May, when Apple bought his new company, Next Software, for $430 million. He is allowed to sell the holding whenever he wants but company insiders are asked not to sell Apple shares between 1 June and 16 July. This is the sensitive period before the company?s Q3 financial results are announced, when courts may decide sellers have insider knowledge of company figures when trading shares.
The bulk sale of 1.19 per cent of Apple?s stock is likely to be seen as a lack of Jobs? faith in Apple rather than his need for cash and could drive Apple?s stock down even further than its current level, close to the lowest it has been. Poor Q3 results could push Apple into another round of takeover speculation.
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