Why Jeff Bezos Just Sold Nearly $2 Billion in Amazon Stock

Today, Jeff Bezos owns a little less of Amazon.com than he did last week.

The e-commerce giant’s founder and CEO has unloaded more than $1.8 billion worth of Amazon stock in the past week, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The filings show that the sales began on Jan. 31 and continued through Feb. 3, with 905,456 shares ($1.84 billion) sold in total.

Bezos has made similar sales before, unloading nearly $3 billion in July and August of 2019. He has said that he sells around $1 billion in stock each year to secure liquid assets to support his space venture, Blue Origin.

“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.”

At present, the mogul owns about 12% of Amazon, or 56.6 million shares. He is the world’s richest man, with an estimated net worth of $127 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The majority of Bezos’ money is tied up in Amazon holdings.

The entrepreneur’s latest sale comes after Amazon delivered a blockbuster fourth-quarter earnings report last week, soaring past analysts’ expectations with a year-over-year revenue increase of 21%. The e-tailer reported earnings per share of $6.47, well past expert bets of $4.03. For the first quarter of the new fiscal year, Amazon expects to report revenues of between $69 billion and $73 billion. The strong report sent the firm’s stock price soaring, with its market cap rising to $1 trillion on Thursday.

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