Jumping ship

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Thu Jan 11 08:41:36 MST 2001

January 11, 2001

Oracle Insiders to Sell Shares


Filed at 9:44 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Oracle Corp. (ORCL.O) Chief Financial Officer Jeff
Henley and board member Donald Lucas exercised options totaling 1.15
million common shares and they plan to sell the stock, worth a combined
$36.6 million, Securities and Exchange Commission filings said.

Henley, who has been CFO since March 1991, is looking to sell 1 million
shares with a market value of $32 million. Lucas, who has sat on the board
as a director since March 1980, filed to sell 150,000 shares worth $4.6

They announced their disposition plans in separate filings dated Jan. 3 and
Jan. 4. The regulatory documents were made public by the SEC on Wednesday.

It is common for insiders at the California-based computer network giant to
sell shares from time to time.

Oracle shares were trading at $33, up 1/4 on Nasdaq. In the past year they
have been as high as $46-7/16 and as low as $21-8/16.


Los Angeles Times, December 28, 2000, Thursday, Home Edition


So much for "buy low, sell high."

U.S. executives and directors have sold $ 70.5 billion of shares in their
companies this year--55% more than in 1999--while stock purchases by
company insiders fell for the first time in five years.

Selling was dominated by officers of computer-related and Internet
companies, including Microsoft, Dell Computer, Ariba and Brocade
Communications Systems. All are members of the Nasdaq composite index,
which rose to record levels in March before plunging more than 50% as the
U.S. economy slowed.

"The technology guys are jumping ship," said Louis Navellier, head of
Navellier & Associates.

Meanwhile, the beaten down state of many companies' shares wasn't exciting
a lot of buying among insiders. Open-market stock purchases by insiders
fell for the first time since 1995--to $ 3.27 billion, 21% less than in 1999.

The largest buyers were from telecommunications, broadcasting and tobacco
companies, including cigarette maker Philip Morris.

The figures for buying and selling are as of Saturday.

Shareholders say they don't like to see large-scale selling by
insiders--defined as executives, directors and big individual
investors--because it erodes confidence in a company's prospects. In
addition, owning a stake can help motivate management, some investors say.

Insider selling accelerated as the year wore on and Nasdaq wore down. By
the second half of the year, insiders were selling at their fastest pace in
two years. In the eight weeks ended Nov. 8, insiders made 2.2 sales for
every purchase, according to Vickers Weekly Insider Report. That's the
fastest selling pace since June 1998.

Persistent selling doesn't necessarily mean a stock is headed for a fall.
Executives may sell some of their holdings to finance a home purchase, to
diversify their investments or for other reasons.

Moreover, in recent years, technology companies' insiders typically have
done the most selling. The companies tend to use stock options rather than
big salaries to compensate employees, leaving executives with much of their
wealth tied up in stock and options.

While insiders generally get most of their shares via options, there is
usually just one way for them to sell: in the open market.

Insiders at Microsoft sold $ 10.5 billion of stock, more than seven times
the sales of any other company. Executives and directors at Dell sold $ 1.4
billion, $ 1.1 billion at Brocade and $ 953 million at Ariba.

The biggest individual seller was Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen with $
8.5 billion, followed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates with $ 1.5 billion
and Michael Dell, chief executive of Dell, with $ 1.1 billion.

Gates has a program in which he periodically sells a small fraction of his
Microsoft holdings to diversify his investments, a company spokeswoman
said. Allen, who said in September that he would resign from Microsoft's
board, left the company's operations in 1983 to pursue independent

Dell has said its CEO regularly sells shares, which are small in proportion
to his total holdings.

On the buying side, insiders at Philip Morris, the largest tobacco company,
were among the most active, with open-market purchases of $ 91 million.
Insiders at cigarette maker Loews bought $ 122 million of its shares.

Philip Morris has been the top-performing stock in the Dow Jones industrial
average this year, rising more than 95% as investors bet the worst of its
legal woes are over.

Louis Proyect
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