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Apple's Forstall sells 95% of stock, but has plenty more coming

May 02, 2012|By David Sarno
  • Scott Forstall on stage in 2011.
Scott Forstall on stage in 2011. ( / Flickr)

Scott Forstall, Apple Inc.'s head of mobile software -- in other words, one of the guys behind the iPad and the iPhone -- just cashed in on the success of his products, to the tune of $38.7 million.  Moreover, he sold 95% of his stock holdings, leaving his very lucrative cupboard bare -- for the time being.

Apple stock's meteoric rise has hit some bumpy air lately, with shares down 5.4% over the last month.  The stock hit a bigger skid starting in mid-April, dropping 13% before it rebounded after Apple's huge earnings release last week.  Forstall may have had his eye on the recent volatility, and decided to cash in before any more dips came.  Since he sold last Friday, the stock is down about 3%.

The big insider sale does not necessarily presage a run on Apple's banks.  Forstall cashed out heavily, yes, but the sum was a pittance compared to what he stands to make on yet-unvested RSUs -- or restricted stock units.  Forstall stands to gain 250,000 more shares of Apple stock -- some that will vest next year, and more that he could get if he stays until 2014.

At today's prices, that many shares would be worth $146 million.  If the stock continues to go up -- to, say, $1,000 a share as some analysts have predicted -- Forstall will be sitting on $250 million.  But because he would have to stay with the company another 24 months or so to rake all that in, it makes sense that he'd want to convert his current shares to cash so he can, you know, survive until then.


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