Amazon founder Jeff Bezos sold almost 1 million Amazon shares worth $1.8 billion in the last three days of July in three separate transactions. The sales reduced Bezos’ stake in Amazon to about $110 billion.
According to an SEC filing, Bezos sold 960,000 Amazon shares for $1,900 a share from July 29 to July 31 in three tranches. After the sales, Bezos still owns 58.1 million Amazon shares and remains the online retailer’s largest individual shareholder.
Mackenzie Bezos is now Amazon’s second-largest shareholder
Jeff’s ex-wife, MacKenzie Bezos, is now Amazon’s second-largest individual stakeholder pursuant to the couple’s April 2019 divorce settlement. Under that agreement, MacKenzie took $35.6 billion in Amazon stock and left Jeff with 75% of their joint AMZN holdings, as well as voting control of her shares.
After her lucrative divorce, MacKenzie Bezos became the fourth-richest woman in the world. Not surprisingly, MacKenzie said she was “happy” with her settlement and was excited to start a new chapter in her life following the dissolution of her 25-year marriage.
— MacKenzie Bezos (@mackenziebezos) April 4, 2019
Bezos will sell $1 billion in Amazon stock every year to fund space company
The latest sale of 960,000 Amazon shares is Jeff Bezos’ first since October 2018, when he sold $33 million in AMZN.
The move is not a surprise. In 2017, Bezos said he would sell $1 billion in Amazon stock every year to finance his spaceflight company, Blue Origin, whose goal is to explore and colonize space.
“My business model right now for Blue Origin is, I sell about a billion dollars a year of Amazon stock, and I use it to invest in Blue Origin,” Bezos said in 2017. “So the business model for Blue Origin is very robust.”
Even with the latest divestment, Jeff Bezos’ net worth still tops $117 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Space wars heat up between Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos
As CCN reported, Tesla billionaire Elon Musk mocked Bezos as a copycat in April amid news that the Amazon founder plans to launch 3,200 satellites into space.
Bezos’ venture is called Project Kuiper, and its goal is to provide high-speed internet service to millions of people in underprivileged communities. Bezos revealed his plans in federal filings from March 2019.
Musk was quick to remind Bezos that launching a constellation of satellites to provide broadband access to under-served communities is something he did in 2018 — when his space-exploration company SpaceX launched Starlink, which involves nearly 12,000 satellites.
SpaceX submitted its regulatory filings for the project back in 2017.
The space war between Musk and Bezos is years in the making. Musk founded SpaceX in 2002 to make space travel accessible to everyday people and to colonize Mars.
In 2015, when Bezos bragged about Blue Origin’s successful rocket launch, Musk clapped back on Twitter. Musk gleefully pointed out that his company had done the same thing — three years earlier.
@JeffBezos Not quite “rarest”. SpaceX Grasshopper rocket did 6 suborbital flights 3 years ago & is still around. pic.twitter.com/6j9ERKCNZl
— E (@elonmusk) November 24, 2015
Analyst predicts 50% spike in AMZN over the next year
Meanwhile, Amazon’s long-term prospects appear to be off-the-charts, according to several Wall Street analysts.
Michael Levine, a senior analyst with New York equity-research firm Pivotal Research Group, predicts that Amazon stock will rocket 50% over the next year to top $2,800 a share. Using Levine’s projection, that means Amazon — which is currently valued at about $924 billion — could rocket to $1.35 trillion by 2020.
Levine said that Amazon stock will surge because it has “the highest-quality management and franchise within global internet,” calling it “a must-own name with huge upside even from here.”
Moreover, Levine said Amazon’s move toward one-day shipping is a major catalyst that’s propelling it to “owning the consumer’s wallet.” Levine says even in spite of Amazon stock’s recent slowdown, it’s still set to explode in the near term.