Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg Sells Shares ... Cheap

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Sheryl Sandberg

The COO cashed in $4.4 million worth of her stock one day before the company announced earnings and shares soared.

Facebook chief operation officer Sheryl Sandberg’s timing left a little to be desired when she sold a chunk of the social network’s stock Tuesday, one day before an announcement of strong quarterly earnings sent the stock soaring.

According to an SEC filing Thursday, Sandberg sold 169,756 shares of Facebook on Tuesday at $26.13 per share. On Thursday, Facebook stock shot up 30 percent to $34.36. Sandberg got about $4.44 million for her stock, which is about $1.4 million less than she would have made if she sold two days later.

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The catalyst for Facebook’s big move Thursday was its quarterly earnings report a day earlier. Facebook said revenue jumped 53 percent in the second quarter to $1.81 billion and that 41 percent of its revenue from advertising came by way of mobile ads, an impressive feat that thrilled investors.

Sandberg sold the same amount of shares July 10 and also on June 13. After her sale Tuesday, she was left with just under 15 million shares worth more than $515 million.

E-mail: Paul.Bond@THR.com