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Jeff Bezos sells 50M shares of Amazon stock: what is the impact of his stake?

In Business
February 24, 2024

Jeff Bezos capped off several weeks of offloading Amazon stock with a fourth round of sales disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday.

In the most recent sale, the Amazon founder shed 14 million shares from his stake in the e-commerce company over two days at the end of last week and one day early this week, the SEC filing showed. They amounted to nearly $2.37 billion.

His prior rounds of sales amounted to nearly 36 million Amazon shares overall. Those shares, which were sold in increments of roughly 12 million, totaled $6.15 billion.

Jeff Bezos looks on from the McLaren pitwall during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome in Miami on May 6, 2023.

Jeff Bezos looks on from the McLaren pitwall during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome in Miami on May 6, 2023.

His Amazon stake now includes about 938.25 million shares, 50 million fewer than when he started unloading the stock on Feb. 7, per SEC filings. It equates to roughly 9%.

The e-commerce giant’s stock brought his net worth to $195.5 billion, one of the largest in the world, according to Forbes.

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Bezos had a prearranged trading plan that covered the sale of a maximum of 50 million Amazon shares by Jan. 25 of next year. The four rounds of sales this month all fell under that plan.

The billionaire, who recently left Washington and moved to Florida with fiancée Lauren Sanchez, has not publicly given a reason for the sales or said what his intentions are for the proceeds from the $8.52 billion worth of stock sales.

Jeff Bezos and fiance Lauren Sanchez in Italy

Lauren Sánchez and Jeff Bezos arrive at the Dolce&Gabbana Party during the Milan Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 in Milan on Jan. 13.

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Bezos will realize massive tax savings on stock sales in the Sunshine State compared to Washington. While both states have no income tax, Washington recently implemented a 7% capital gains tax.

Despite selling 50 million shares, Bezos still has all other top insider and institutional investors beat, maintaining his title as Amazon’s largest shareholder.

The Amazon logo

Amazon recently said it had over 11,600 shareholders of record, though it noted “there is a much larger number of beneficial owners.”

Investors such as Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, Banco Santander SA, Milestone Resources Group and Worldwide Amazon Stores CEO Doug Herrington all have stakes magnitudes smaller than Bezos, according to SEC filings. For example, the Warren Buffett-run Berkshire has a 0.1% stake in Amazon consisting of 10 million shares worth $1.5 billion.

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Out of all Amazon shareholders, investment management firms Vanguard Group and BlackRock have the most sizable holdings behind Bezos. The former’s stands at nearly 7.4%, while the latter’s is around 3.9%.

The company, whose market capitalization hovered around $1.81 trillion as of Thursday afternoon, recently said it had over 11,600 shareholders of record, though it noted “there is a much larger number of beneficial owners.”

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