Here’s Why Jeff Bezos Just Sold $1.8 Billion in Amazon Stock

Jeff Bezos’ stake in Inc. just got a little smaller.

The e-commerce giant’s founder and CEO sold $1.8 billion in stock (965,612 shares at around $1,900 per share) in the last three days of July, according to Amazon filings with the Federal Trade Commission.

Bezos’ offloading is reportedly to help fund Blue Origin, his space venture, as it nears commercial operation. The magnate has said he unloads around $1 billion in stock a year to secure liquid assets for Blue Origin; his last stock sale occurred in October 2018.

“The only way I can see to deploy this much financial resource is by converting my Amazon winnings into space travel,” he said in a 2018 interview with Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner. “Blue Origin is expensive enough to be able to use that fortune.”

Per Forbes, this could be the largest stock sale ever made by Bezos, who will keep around $1.4 billion after taxes. The shed stock represented only 1.6% of his total holdings in Amazon, which currently stands at 58,142,479 shares.

With an estimated net worth $117 billion according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index, Bezos stands as the richest person in the world. The vast majority of his fortune is tied up in Amazon stock.

Bezos’ latest stock sale comes on the heels of worse than expected Amazon earnings for Q2. The Seattle-based company posted profits of $2.6 billion, or $5.22 per share, shy of the $5.56 increase analysts predicted.

Watch the highlights at the 2018 FNAAs.

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