Insider Transactions At Apple

  • Posted: 04 July 2002 06:10 AM #31

    Three basic (conflicting) points

    1.  The sales were made mostly at the end of May.  I assume there was an advance notice required (how long?) or a fixed window.  No one has been specific on whether these actually apply, and what the notice or window actually was.

    2.  Robert mentions these were mainly options.  But what was the option price (?), and I assume no executive would sell if the market price were below the option price.

    3.  I do trust Steve Jobs.  He is a folk hero, and I cannot believe he would ever be associated with insider trading.  His whole great reputation is built upon a deep trust by so many people, including me.

    Thanks again Robert for the detailed info.

    The Doc

  • Posted: 05 July 2002 03:17 AM #32

    Actually the issues have been addressed in various financial news reports, albeit briefly, and were covered at best in a mediocre fashion there and in the tech sector “news” sites that cover computing.

    There’s the report some Apple execs sold stock before negative forecasts emerged.  Apple replies.  Step 1 makes “news” because it’s another Enron insider trading story.  Step 2 isn’t exciting because Apple comes up with a plausible explanation.  Step 3, diverse in subject, is very limited.  A few stories, mostly on the financial side where they at least understand the issues, note that there is no official SEC investigation.  Or there’s some comment on Apple’s comment on the original “news.”

    This sort of story, especially if insider trading is involved, is potentially much more complicated than anything discussed in this thread, largely because there are no facts.  So far IMO this is a non-issue.  That would require researching what Jobs has publicly announced his board of directors has agreed to regarding stock options for major compensation and the specifics of “first window,” or opportunity to sell them.

    This “story” has been a dead line for some time now.  The “possibility” was reported.  Apple denied and provided “plausibility.”  Follow to that is that there’s no “official inquiry” by the SEC.  About the same time the reporter at the AP comes floating in with a story, no more than a rehash of the first, as if both the writer and editor were on vaction when the “story” first broke.  Nothing new was reported.  Other sources or stories weren’t mentioned.  Maybe the editor had some space to fill and the writer sat down and knocked out what wound up being a piece of filler.  Unfortunately, they didn’t mention at the end of their “story” that the original “story” was still non-news.

    Informed readers have to basically do what everyone else in this thread has been doing.  You have to keep on top of what is or isn’t going on.  Blaming the “news media” on the Internet or the CNN Headline News or the Fox whatever, isn’t fair.  That’s what most people apparently want.  Informed people interested in the stock market or general news traditionally have subscribed to four or five newspapers and had other sources available.  An even better situation exists today, but the volume of it can be overwhelming.  And when a site like TMO provides their “spin” on a story and at least provides some basis for it, then you have some credibiltiy.

    But the public, which loves to bash the press on this issue when the press sometimes has no way of imediately, or in the short term, resolving an issue, can wind up either believing what it wants (preferred by politicians in particular), or not believing anyone.  A sloppy public feeding on a sloppy press has always been a problem Nothing new.

    In this case you have the best of possible confusion, because you have a tech press that knows nothing about business and finance often trading news back and forth.  And that seems to be part of what happened here.  The friend and I who looked into this found a few brief summaries that had some of the facts of steps 1 and 2 and they dropped it.  The tech sites which apparently haven’t a clue about what constitutes insider trading and how it’s investigated had little, if anything about the fact that the SEC had not made any announcement of an investigation.  That probably strikes them about non-news about no news.  The same thing happens on the other side where the business analysts appear to have had any interest in whether or not Apple’s story might have some credibility.  About the dumbest thing in their minds is to report a possible story, have it denied, have nothing happen after the denial, and then follow-up with something perceived as a confirmation of a denial.

    This little game is played out on the Internet daily and has increasing popularity in the “news media” (a questionable term) at best if all we want is quick lines, something in the case of CNN they appropriately named “Headline News.”  There’s nothing wrong with such goods, but any story of interest has to be followed up by the public with something that has more depth.  In political issues it rarely is, something politicians dearly love, and there are credibility issues as we have hear.  The public blames the press but won’t take the time or facts to sift through news reports and the press continues feeding the public headlines.

    Depending on who you are and where your interests lies, the other gets blamed.  This is a classic case.  Rather than trying to establish some plausibility, which I’m not capable of doing, I’d rather look at the facts as they exist, then wait and see if anything else happens.  Often nothing ever does.  I think the original perception in the media was reasonable.  I think Apple responded well.  Since then it’s been a non-event.

    Sorry to wander on this.  I was “thinking out loud” a bit of the process that went through my mind.  The confusion added by the late blooming “nothing new” story from AP didn’t help in this case.  But I think by reading the thread here you can see the “story” developing precisely that way.  Forums always contain conjecture.  I’m guilty of it.

    Perhaps my post now, or the previous one, should have simple said:  This is a story that wasn’t.  So far.  wink

  • Posted: 05 July 2002 07:20 AM #33

    Thanks !

    Many, many thanks, Rad ! ! !

    Very insightful ! ! !

  • Posted: 05 July 2002 10:45 PM #34

    Re: Thanks !

    [quote author=“Anonymous”]Many, many thanks, Rad ! ! !

    Very insightful ! ! !

    Hmm….I’m not entirely certain my original ending comment wouldn’t have saved a lot of eyestrain:

    “This is a story that wasn’t. So far.”

    Still haven’t sold any of my Apple stock.  Didn’t do too badly on Friday as the NASDAQ and NYSE seem to have had another one of their dumb knee jerk reactions, sort of a reverse reaction because what everyone hoped wouldn’t happen, and no one really expected would happen, didn’t.

    Reminds me of this insider trading story.  rolleyes