Oracle stock has been treading water this year, which is better than many stocks are faring in the coronavirus pandemic, but Larry Ellison, the founder of the software giant, has sold stock for the first time in nearly a decade.
Oracle stock (ticker: ORCL) has eked out a 2.9% gain for the year to date through Thursday’s close, better than the 4.6% drop in the S&P 500 index, a broad measure of the market.
Ellison, who serves as Oracle’s chairman, used stock options to acquire 2.8 million shares on June 23 and 24 for a total of $60.3 million, an exercise price of $21.55 each. Over those same two days he sold 2.8 million shares for a total of $154.6 million, an average per-share price of $55.22, according to a form Ellison filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The options were set to expire July 1.
Ellison most recent previous sale of Oracle stock on the open market was on Nov. 26, 2010, when he sold 1 million shares for $27.5 million, an average per-share price of $27.48. That sale was made through a so-called Rule 10b5-1 plan, which automatically executes transactions when parameters, such as price and volume, are met. Such automated transactions are meant to remove any potential bias an insider may have from knowledge of material nonpublic information.
Ellison was still CEO when he made the 2010 transaction. He stepped down from that post in September 2014.