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Eric Schmidt To Sell Up To 42% of Stake In Google

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the that's-a-lot-of-google dept.

Google 183

derGoldstein writes "AllThingsD reports that Eric Schmidt 'plans to sell up to 3.2 million shares of his class A common stock in the company,' according to an SEC filing. 'The amount is equal to approximately 42.1 percent of his overall stake in Google.'"

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Capitalism is failing (-1, Flamebait)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849565)

Folks, Karl Marx was right. Increasing wealth at one pole, increasing misery at the other. A system that condemns millions to starvation does not deserve to live. It is time for the workers, lead by their Leninist vanguard party, to smash the rule of the bourgeois parasites and establish a dictatorship of the proletariat, opening the road to socialism.

Re:Capitalism is failing (4, Interesting)

msh104 (620136) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849587)

Or we could have a better incremental tax system where dirt poor is not the bottom and fat rich is not the top.

Re:Capitalism is failing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42849645)

things can be worse than dirt poor?

and things can be better than fat rich?

sign me up!

Re:Capitalism is failing (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850381)

Dead or dying is worse.

Re:Capitalism is failing (1)

Nikker (749551) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850557)

and slowly dieing of starvation is great.

Re:Capitalism is failing (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42849833)

So you want a system where everyone is pulled down to the same level? Where hard work isn't rewarded? Schmidt gets too much for what he's contributed? Perhaps - OK, then how much is too much? Who decides?

I personally know some dirt poor people. Some of them are hard working but unlucky or got a bad start in life (would be my guess), some are hard working but dirt poor because they made a mess of things when they were younger (drinking, not doing their school work, losing jobs through their own doing, etc), and some of them are just plain lazy. And in most of these cases, if you give them a million dollars today, they won't have anything left by next year this time.

Re:Capitalism is failing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42850465)

You want to incentivize paying your employees better but without eliminating the ability to pay executives great money. I have yet to see a system that does this very well. Perhaps if you taxed income based upon it's relationship to the median income in the country. That way you're not putting a hard cap on how much someone can make but creating an incentive to pay your employees better.

Re:Capitalism is failing (3, Insightful)

lucm (889690) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849633)

> Increasing wealth at one pole, increasing misery at the other.

This has nothing to do with capitalism. This has to do with the government raising taxes aimed at the middle class since the rich can move and the poor can't pay. Decade after decade the middle class shrinks while prices go up, taxes go up and the government becomes like a pimp managing tired older whores.

When both political parties give the government's ATM card to lobbies and spend trillions on what they think will get them elected again it appears that there is no hope.

There is only one solution: become rich or become poor.

Re:Capitalism is failing (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42849901)

Except that US taxes have been trending down for 30 years, and wages have not kept up with inflation.

Re:Capitalism is failing (4, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850353)

Federal Income Tax is down - almost every other tax has increased. Local wage taxes, state income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes... It took the recent financial crisis to knock us back down to 1970s levels, but expect that to ramp back up as the economy recovers. Just prior to the financial crisis, we were at an all-time high for total tax burden as a percentage of GDP.

Got my numbers here. [businessinsider.com]

Re:Capitalism is failing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42851123)

Also inflation and quantitative easing, so promoted by the last few administrations, are taxes targeted to the low and middle classes who own no equity and are unable to hedge. Keeping the people poor and dependent on your programs is a Machiavellian but predictable way to stay in power.

Re:Capitalism is failing (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42849933)

Actually, there's a third solution. You may not have thought of it.

If wealth condensation were an unstoppable force, it would have run to completion thousands of years ago and there would never have been a middle class in all of recorded history. Clearly there is some counteracting force. Something which we haven't since... let's say 1945.

Re:Capitalism is failing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42850393)

Clearly there is some counteracting force.

We're fresh out of new continents, though.

Re:Capitalism is failing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42850923)

So we just need to wipe out a continent and colonize it? Awesome.

Re:Capitalism is failing (1)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850059)

There is only one solution: become rich or become poor.

That's two solutions.

Taxes aren't the problem either (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42850311)

In Europe taxes are spent largely on public works, public health, and public services, so taxes are not a net loss for citizens but contribute directly to their welfare and to the smooth running of society for the man in the street.

The difference in the US isn't so much in the rate of taxation, but what is done with your tax dollars. They're not spent for the social good to any large degree, but fund the huge military complex and benefit the rich more than the poor. (Here the rich pay much more tax than anyone else.)

The US "misery" problem to which you refer is much more deeply rooted than could be solved by changing the rate of taxation. It can't. Your society is structured to create misery.

Re:Capitalism is failing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42850753)

This has nothing to do with capitalism. This has to do with the government raising taxes aimed at the middle class since the rich can move and the poor can't pay. Decade after decade the middle class shrinks while prices go up, taxes go up and the government becomes like a pimp managing tired older whores.

When both political parties give the government's ATM card to lobbies and spend trillions on what they think will get them elected again it appears that there is no hope.

There is only one solution: become rich or become poor.

Why do people mod this juvenile nonsense up as INSIGHTFUL? Taxes are not the reason. People didn't magically change. Same crooks, different economy over the last couple hundred years. The US prospered at a ridiculous rate since the late 1800s until about the 1970s. See Richard Wolff's talks on youtube and learn. While it's TRUE that the political system is completely corrupt, that has little to do with the disparity. Without a cap on income + politically motivated loopholes, Capitalism is a winners win losers lose. That's CAPITALISM not taxation at work. Taxation impact is a function of economy. $1000 vs 1000 pennies is a lot in both cases, but has nothing to do with the middle or upper class without context of the existing economy.

Re:Capitalism is failing (4, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849829)

Yes, because there's no poverty or starvation in Marxist countries at all right?

Re:Capitalism is failing (4, Insightful)

morcego (260031) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849961)

Yes, because there's no poverty or starvation in Marxist countries at all right?

Nah. It is just that in Marxism, everyone is equally poor.

Re:Capitalism is failing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42850107)

There has never been a country that has implemented marxism, you are probably thinking of stalinism. Yes there is a diffrence and its big. Marx also said that if the Russians ever tried his ideas it would end up in failure.

Re:Capitalism is failing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42850449)

No True Scotsman! I mean, Marxist!

Re:Capitalism is failing (4, Interesting)

jopsen (885607) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850165)

Nah. It is just that in Marxism, everyone is equally poor.

The choice isn't necessarily between extreme capitalism and extreme socialism...
Socialism to the point where people don't starve, can start over after failing and are given a decent chance to go to university, isn't so expensive that hard work won't be profitable anymore.
(Socialism to that extend, does however, encourage risk taking, as there's a system to help you if you fail).

It's often called liberal socialism, many/most countries in Europe (especially northern Europe) are quite successful with this approach.

Re:Capitalism is failing (1)

morcego (260031) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850201)

Liberal socialism didn't work as well as expected in many places (see Spain).

However, there is one easier to digest concept also: welfare state.

Re:Capitalism is failing (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850541)

Yea, Europe isn't my model for any sort of success fiscally. I suspect the solution is just something we haven't figured out yet. It certainly has nothing to do with socialism. Capitalism is at least, not a political dogma. Capitalism is "how money works" All the things you hate about it, are not a part of it. Kickbacks, loopholes, all that sort of shit are people gaming the system and are actually more socialist in nature than anything else.

Re:Capitalism is failing (1)

TuringTest (533084) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850815)

What do you mean, that kickbacks and loopholes are not part of "how money works"? Sorry to bust your bubble, but the world doesn't actually work as a Randian utopia.

Re:Capitalism is failing (1)

Acapulco (1289274) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850185)

I think Orwell would say all farm animals were equally poor, except for the pigs...
 
  So, *almost* everyone is equally poor.

Re:Capitalism is failing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42850193)

Yes, because there's no poverty or starvation in Marxist countries at all right?

It's really a matter of the fact that the poor and starving in marxist countries are "right wing" and therefore aren't counted as people by the left.

Re:Capitalism is failing (1)

Capt. Skinny (969540) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850213)

It is time for the workers, lead by their Leninist vanguard party, to smash the rule of the bourgeois parasites and establish a dictatorship of the proletariat, opening the road to socialism.

Yes, let's replace those who have skill and initiative with those who are unwilling or unable to make their own way in the world. I've always found it quite ironic that the "proletariat" has such disdain for the capitalists upon whom they depend to make their living.

Re:Capitalism is failing (2)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850415)

It's because the math is confusing. They compute the pay they get divided by the hours they work and try to compare that figure to the same statistic for a capitalist. They get in trouble when they attempt to divide by zero...

Time to haul the red herrings (4, Insightful)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849577)

I doubt this has anything to do with any bad news
for Google. It is my guess Schmidt just wants the
money here and now. Totally understandable.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (2)

msh104 (620136) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849597)

It is part of a deal to have a more diverse group of stakeholders.
So you are indeed right that this shows nothing about the performance of google.
And i guess the money will always come in handy as well. :P

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42849757)

> this shows nothing about the performance of google.

That's right, children, pay no attention to that "invisible hand" of industry, shoved up the puppet's ass and making its lips move.

You can draw the conclusion that this move will not cost Schmidt a lot of money, compared to staying where his is. That means that Google will *not* be making a lot more money than wherever else Schmidt invests it. The devil then comes from the details of where he decides to put the money. And a big stock sale also means a change in stockholder *voting*, which can certainly change the performance of Google.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42849835)

Please go play in traffic.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42850101)

Bear in mind that Schmidt is selling a good portion of his class A shares which only get one vote per share, but none of his class B shares which get 10 votes per share. I'm not sure how much this will affect the balance of shareholder voting, but he is still holding on to the more influential shares.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42850171)

True, but class A votes can be easily bought and compiled into a significant vote, just like what lobbyists do to the government.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (2)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850455)

Not that easy. Buying A class shares requi5es a lot of real money. After you get above 5% you have to start declaring things - like how much you own, how much you plan on buying, and why you are buying.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (5, Informative)

fufufang (2603203) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849603)

Diversifying investment portfolio is something that all good investors tend to do. Eric Schmidt is a businessman too.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (2)

guttentag (313541) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850327)

Diversifying investment portfolio is something that all good investors tend to do.

Agreed, but his Google assets were built by building up Google into one of the more diversified companies around. Sure they don't own any salt mines yet (depending on your definition of salt mine), but they went from building a search engine in Silicon Valley to laying fiber in Kansas, creating self-driving cars in Nevada, writing a cell-phone operating system used by manufacturers around the world, buying Motorola's cell phone business, operating stores for books, music and software, operating an email network that is contributing to the USPS's demise (I know, Congress is killing the USPS, but the growth of services like Gmail is a factor in the equation), operating a network of buses on 300 routes in the Bay Area, operating a video service so ubiquitous countries around the world complain when they do or do not pull controversial videos, operating a fleet of camera-wielding cars all over the world taking 360-degree photos, helping health officials track pandemics on a nationwide scale, investing in renewable energy, helping NORAD track Santa, and a million other random things that are pulling highly-skilled employees from fields that have nothing to do with selling ads and delivering search results.

Yes, 96% of their revenue comes from advertising programs, but it seems they've positioned themselves in other markets pretty well to support those advertising programs. I don't think he's worried about diversifying his own money. It's more likely he's taking a good chunk of his profits before the taxes on his profits get so high between the state and federal taxes that cashing out is a losing proposition. The NYTimes just ran a story 3 days ago pointing out that California millionaires are grumbling that between the two they are being taxed 51.9%, the highest personal income tax rate in the U.S. Regardless of whether he needs all that money, from a psychological standpoint, once you start paying more than half of what you earn in income taxes, you start to question why you're doing the job and whether it's still worth it.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (1)

Pascal Sartoretti (454385) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849619)

I doubt this has anything to do with any bad news for Google.

Agreed. But it may also show that Schmidt doesn't expect huge growth in Google's share price...

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (3, Interesting)

gniv (600835) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849669)

That doesn't mean he's right. He sold a similar amount last year, and missed most of the growth in the stock price in the last month.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42849879)

No it doesn't. Selling off his entire stake in Google would show that he doesn't expect huge growth from Google. Even selling off about 42% shows that he's just diversifying his personal investment portfolio, and he's probably going to buy himself on to a new board position at another tech company. People like that just don't sell out that much for no reason...he's planning something.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42851135)

Yes it's called "Retirement" and "Zombie survival underground"

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (1)

drolli (522659) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849659)

A likely possibility is that he wants to avoid conflicts of interest. E.g. when investing in other companies.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (2, Informative)

khoker (1028434) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849665)

Is it "totally understandable"? Interest rates are basically zero, which means that taking money "here and now" doesn't gain him anything. He might want to invest elsewhere in order to diversify his portfolio but such a move would only make sense given an underlying principle that he a) suspects something may perform better than GOOG or b) has uncertainties about the future of GOOG (to the point where cashing out now and stuffing cash in his mattress is better than holding onto GOOG). It isn't to say either of those reasons are "bad" from a savvy-businessman point of view, but it also doesn't mean you can simply dismiss the action as "totally understandable" either.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42849705)

Or perhaps instead of trying to find some vague insider conspiracy where there is none you can look at the facts which are that he's getting quite old and would like to go for low yield low risk investments before his retirement. He still has a pretty big stake in Google.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (2)

khoker (1028434) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849787)

Low yield/Low risk implies exposure to risk. You are saying is that GOOG is, what then? Medium risk? High risk? That's my point. If he views GOOG as risky, people should at least take that into consideration. Furthermore, it isn't like the guy came went directly from rags-to-Google. Prior to Google he was at both Sun and Novell. In addition to all of his stock options, salary and bonuses over the past decode -- Google gave the guy a $100 million gift when he vacated the CEO seat two years ago. I seriously don't think he's worried about retirement.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42849969)

I think you should read just a little bit about investing. Stocks are by definition more risky than things like US treasuries for example and an index of multiple diversified stocks as another example. So once again he's probably just preparing for retirement. This is not because GOOG has suddenly stopped growing or is more risky than earlier.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (3, Informative)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850509)

It's high risk. Having a large proportion of your personal wealth on one stock is ALWAYS high risk. That stock is at an all time high. P/E is at 24 and cash flow appears to be peaking.

That's not to say that they aren't in a good financial position. They are very strong but nobody can know the future. Moving a large portion of his investment to more conservative positions is prudent.

Stock is risk, cash in hand isn't. (2)

caveat (26803) | about a year and a half ago | (#42851083)

I'm getting a price for GOOG of $785. That's $2,512,000,000 of literal cash under the mattress. IT's not that GOOG is a particularly risky stock, but money in the bank is more or less zero-risk; putting enough away to live like a king for the rest of your days certainly seems to me the absolutely perfect retirement strategy.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42849775)

Did you do the math? If it sold at the current share price, that's over $2,500,000,000.00. I don't think I'd worry about interest with that kind of scratch. Even at 0% that's enough money for 500 people to live well for a lifetime. Stock can't normally be used to buy stuff.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42849965)

First... interest rates are "basically zero" only if you have small amounts of cash. Even if he was going to get $1/share out of his 3 million shares, that isn't a small amount of cash. He will be getting substantially more than $1/share.

Second, diversified portfolios make sense always because diversified portfolios are substantially more resistant to the sort of shocks that you just really can't predict, expect, or otherwise plan for. Only if you have an absolute guaranteed money maker would you want to not diversify. There are no guarantees in stocks.

Third, yeah it really does mean you can dismiss the action as totally understandable if you can say it makes sense from a savvy point of view.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849993)

The only things which are certain are death and taxes. That he wants to diversify his holdings is pretty understandable given how much of his wealth is all in one basket. Single stocks can rise and fall dramatically on a whim (see the iPrecious). And as chairman he will not be their forever and it is certainly better to lighten the stake while still remaining at the company and holding a good share than after leaving it.

By the way... there's a Red under your bed....

Re: Time to haul the red herrings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42850405)

Investing is not only about profits... it's also about risks. The only way to get a good risk-return deal is to diversify your idiosyncratic risk (risk related to a single company, which is not rewarded in the stock price) and therefore be left with systemic risk only. Of course you can also buy influence with your shares but apparently he has enough influence as it is with his class B shares. Anyways, this is of course oversimplified but the main message is that Schmidt is way above your armchair financial expertise so you shouldn't presume to be able to guess what his actions mean.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850451)

Is it "totally understandable"? Interest rates are basically zero, which means that taking money "here and now" doesn't gain him anything. He might want to invest elsewhere in order to diversify his portfolio but such a move would only make sense given an underlying principle that he a) suspects something may perform better than GOOG or b) has uncertainties about the future of GOOG (to the point where cashing out now and stuffing cash in his mattress is better than holding onto GOOG). It isn't to say either of those reasons are "bad" from a savvy-businessman point of view, but it also doesn't mean you can simply dismiss the action as "totally understandable" either.

It gains him not having all his money in one basket, and not tying all of his fortune to a company whose stock is at an all-time high and may be overvalued based on its possibly saturated growth potential.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (1)

tibit (1762298) | about a year and a half ago | (#42851001)

He'd probably quadruple his money if he began short-selling construction stocks in Turkey right now :) They're setting themselves up for a big construction bust in a couple of years at most.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (1)

eexaa (1252378) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849693)

Moreover, I'm kindof expecting something like "Eric Schmidt buys SpaceX and travels to Mars" in following weeks.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42849927)

Um, why? He's obviously not insane.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (1, Funny)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849737)

What's the collective noun for fanboys? I'm going with "flush". A flush of fanboys.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (1)

BanHammor (2587175) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849947)

Is this comment a reference to "a swarm of butterflies"?

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850503)

Dunno, 'herd' seems to fit better.

Or perhaps 'gaggle'.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42849777)

I doubt this has anything to do with any bad news for Google.

I doubt it too, since selling off stock based on non-public bad news is insider trading.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849853)

It has to do with bad news in general ...

Equities, banks, bonds ... it will all blow up. Own physical stuff ... and be sure some of it is in places out of reach of governments you don't outright own (ie. on an Island) in case the plan for neo-feudalism doesn't pan out and there is a socialist revolution instead.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42849981)

True, the US economy is about to make a massive and near fatal hit as the world dumps the US Dollar as the world reserve currency and adopt the Renimbi/Yuan. 48% of the worlds population (18% of the world's GDP) just voted to do that last November in Cambodia. China setup their own SWIFT system Sept 6th, 2012 which it now pays Russia, Iran, and now Saudi Arabia for oil purchases and has offered it's new system to anyone wanting to buy OR sell oil. If you want to see the effects of this, look at the UK during the 1960s as their economy tanked as the US Dollar (Brentwood Agreement effect) was fully accepted as the new world reserve currency. Bad times in the US will hurt Google, time to unload for hard assets and ride it out until Google's stock hits bottom before buying again.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849989)

Ownership is just a notation in a book somewhere.

When the revolution comes that will be erased too.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850127)

As I said, be sure to stash some stuff on islands (ie. yachts, precious metals, lots of equipments including a bio-fuel plant etc etc). The revolution might confiscate wealth inside developed nations, but it's unlikely to come to more primitive island states with smaller legislatures and populations which are more easily controlled.

The plan is austerity, economic collapse and neo-feudalism though ... not revolution.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (1)

foniksonik (573572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849973)

If it was me I'd be getting into either the new space economy or the new energy economy. Elon Musk is in the sweet spot for the next decade or so. The information economy is net a plateau. Too many players.

Re:Time to haul the red herrings (1)

mrmeval (662166) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850903)

104 billion dollars? How much cultural impact can you have with that amount of cash? Diversifying to other investments would be part of it but with that level of wealth I suspect he'll be having a large cultural impact considering some of his statements.

i wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42849621)

how much tax he will end up paying when all is said and done.
i bet its a lot less than you or i would pay
captcha=dissuade

Re:i wonder (2)

anthony_greer (2623521) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849739)

capitol gains tax post fiscal cliff is about 23.5% IIRC...If he had done this in December, it would have been about 15%...If you factor the marginal income tax rate that most people pay, the average federal income tax comes out to about 18-21% based on actual household income (for normal households of say 30k - about 2500 k)

The real benny comes in with no SS or Medicare taxation.

Re:i wonder (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850019)

Depends on your income. For Eric Schmidt long term cap gains will be 23.5.

This Eric pays 15%.

My kids pay 0%.

Microsoft 2.0 (1)

anthony_greer (2623521) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849641)

Seems to me like GOOG is where MSFT was in the early 2000s. The search business and cell phone platform business are both relatively mature and while other things may be growing, they are inconsequential in the over all picture of GOOG, Since there will be no more 10-25% year on year growth, the Wall Street guys will let the stock stagnate and not grow...If I owned any GOOG, I would sell too!

The stock is sky high at the moment (1)

hsmith (818216) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849673)

He'd be an idiot not to, just look at the price.

Re:The stock is sky high at the moment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42849727)

You probably wrote that one one of these [etsy.com] ...

Re:The stock is sky high at the moment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42851151)

Ha!

Insight into Google's legislative future. (2, Interesting)

hessian (467078) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849699)

Here's a hypothesis:

Google beat the last challenge from the antitrust attorneys from Texas, but it can't count on the future.

Specifically, other states or federal entities could attack it, and then there's all of the EU, which traditionally takes a harder line on privacy violation and monopoly.

Schmidt is no dummy and so he's divesting a reasonable amount (less than half) of his stock to hedge against a potential catastrophic future decline.

Remember what happened to Microsoft. They basically floundered hard after an assault by the department of justice. If the same happens to Google, they'll have to put most of their plans on hold for a decade as well.

When the Billionaire makes a move... (4, Interesting)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849707)

It's news for a reason. It seems unlikely he is strapped for cash, and as he's acting Executive Chairman of Google, a significant stock sale has to mean he's convinced the market capitalization for his Outfit has peaked. Often, if you look way up ahead in the distance, you can just make out the Captain running ahead of all those rats.

Re:When the Billionaire makes a move... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42849789)

Um, almost $800 per share. Anyone who thinks it hasn't peaked can just look at Apple, who is now a litle more than half that - when they were equal just a matter of months ago. Hell yes now is the time to sell. The bump will happen to Google, too, and its stock will drop and that much of a shit is huge money when talking about millions of shares. Not scary news, just smart money keeping smart money.

Re:When the Billionaire makes a move... (0)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849883)

Yes, but google has room to grown. I'd be surprised if Apple did anything interesting in the next year, I expect it of Google.

Re:When the Billionaire makes a move... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42849999)

Considering that the DJIA is an average of selected stock prices, you may want to rethink that.

Of course, GOOG doesn't have nearly the earnings that, say, Berkshire Hathaway does. But no credible analyst will say that it's impossible for Google to improve their earnings. Armchair analysts have been predicting Google's fall at various points since the financial crisis, and, well, they've been both correct and incorrect, because those who bought after Wall Streeters panicked now have increased returns. The question is not "Will Google's share price fall?", but rather "Do I need the money invested in GOOG elsewhere?"

Seeing as how Google still holds the online ad market and the lion's share of the smartphone market via Android, Facebook is still trying to figure out how to steal personal info without getting in trouble for it, and Apple is still trying to figure out what to do next post-Jobs, I would at least hold GOOG if I didn't immediately need that money. The "skunkworks" culture is their wild card, and I'd be surprised if some amazing new ideas don't start making money for them.

Re:When the Billionaire makes a move... (1)

dnaumov (453672) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850329)

Except, of course, that nominal price doesnt say ANYTHING about whether a stock is cheap or expensive. A 1000$ stock can be cheap and a 5$ stock can be outrageously expensive.

Re:When the Billionaire makes a move... (1)

dkf (304284) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849979)

It's news for a reason. It seems unlikely he is strapped for cash, and as he's acting Executive Chairman of Google, a significant stock sale has to mean he's convinced the market capitalization for his Outfit has peaked.

Or it might just be that he's planning to do a substantial investment in something else and thinks this is a tax-advantageous way to raise the capital. (I've no idea what his acquisition price was, but you can bet it was a lot lower than now. It's not real profit until you sell.) There's no way to work it out for sure at the moment, since he's under no obligation to tell you what he'll be doing with the proceeds.

On the other hand, if he was truly worried he'd be actually looking to sell a larger fraction of his holding. If you're jumping off a sinking ship, it makes sense to not be tied to its anchor!

Re:When the Billionaire makes a move... (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850097)

You are assuming that he wants to maximize his personal return. The amount of money is so huge usually they don't worry about maximizing their returns. They usually start thinking about leaving a lasting legacy so they cash out to fund a charity or political organization. Everyone has exactly 24 hours a day. He might decide to spend more time on a cause that is dear to his heart than managing a tough highly competitive business that keeps everyone on their toes.

Re:When the Billionaire makes a move... (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850713)

I like most of your post, but I think you are wrong on this point.

If you donate stock you can deduct the full market price from your tax returns. If he sells the stock first he has to pay capital gains first. So it is always better to gift Google stock to a charity then to sell the stock and gift the money - i.e. the charity will always end up with more money. (Now, the first thing most charities will do is to sell the stock).

Re:When the Billionaire makes a move... (1)

tibit (1762298) | about a year and a half ago | (#42851057)

But those charities don't pay any taxes on such stock sales, right? :)

Re:When the Billionaire makes a move... (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42851105)

And how/why would they?

Case #1: I donate $100 in cash to a charity.

Case #2: I donate $100 in stock to a charity. That stock has some unrealized capital gain.

From the charity viewpoint, how would they know what tax they should pay? For the gifter's standpoint – they are donating exactly the same value – right?

Re:When the Billionaire makes a move... (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850209)

Last earnings announcement the gross margins fell which is a precursor to a falling stock price a lot of times

Revenue and earnings went up but falling gross margins is a bad long term thing

Re:When the Billionaire makes a move... (1, Interesting)

epSos-de (2741969) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850607)

The Google CEO is aware of the coming inflation of the USD, which will plummet US stock, because the international investors will relocate the assets to other countries in case of an inflation. The inflation is needed to reduce the US debt. Or did you really think that the USA is going to create more money out of nothing. They will just make the debt less valuable and pay off with ease. He is actually behind schedule, becasue other super rich people already dumped the stocks from USA. China will demand payment very soon, so that the inflation is the only possible way of reducing the value of the debt in a quick way.

Re:When the Billionaire makes a move... (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42851125)

Except that in inflationary periods, real assets don't fall in value. In fact they may go up in value because people value those real assets. If you are looking for a hedge against inflation stocks are a good way to good. Then add in that a fair chunk of Google's profits comes from overseas.

time to buy microsoft stock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42849903)

the bear must have google in its sights

Google 9 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42849997)

/tongue in cheek on.....
Maybe he is getting ready due to Microsoft ATE [At The End...) failing by selling 42% of Google to buy 100% of Microsoft

Insider Trading??? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850099)

I am not exactly sure what insider trading is, but since he not only knows the inner workings of Google but controls them, how is this not insider trading?

It would be pretty simple for him to influence stock price right before he sells, and theoretically influence it down right before he buys back stock. Hell, it would be simple enough to lower the stock price or rise the stock price of other companies. Just announce that Google plans on competing with company X; Stock falls and he can quietly buy up a big chunk; Then announce that they decided to work together and corner the market with a new wonder device; Stock raises.

Re:Insider Trading??? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42850167)

It's not insider trading when you are rich and powerful.

Re:Insider Trading??? (5, Informative)

sunderland56 (621843) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850441)

I am not exactly sure what insider trading is, but since he not only knows the inner workings of Google but controls them, how is this not insider trading?

It *IS* insider trading. Any CEO selling their own stock is insider trading. That is why the SEC requires documentation and a public disclosure of any potential transaction before the sale happens, which is what the linked document is. [sec.gov] The SEC cannot prohibit such sales, but they do put them under extremely tight restrictions - such as preventing such sales near the end of a quarter, when financial results are known internally but not yet released.

It is important to note that this does not mean that Eric *is* going to sell 42% of his stake, it means that he is now *allowed* to sell *up to* 42% of the stock. Many such filings end up with a smaller amount sold.

Re:Insider Trading??? (1)

Shompol (1690084) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850733)

...and that is exactly why company management is required to declare all such things publicly in advance. This way all investors can see what's cooking.

Re:Insider Trading??? (2)

_Ludwig (86077) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850825)

All trades of stock by that corporation's officers are "insider trading;" the question would be whether it's illegal insider trading. In a nutshell, if he knows about something that the public doesn't and trades based on that knowledge, it's illegal. (Although the Zynga guys seem to be getting away with it so far.) Since he's such a large shareholder, anything he does is going to have some effect on the price, so it's hard to say whether he sold because he knew it was about to drop or it dropped because he sold.

"42% of stake" (5, Informative)

Arancaytar (966377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850119)

Careful with the vagueness there. That's 42% of his stake in Google, not to be confused with 42% of the company's stock.

Re:"42% of stake" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42850323)

mod parent up.
This is an important point.

JavaScript Injection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42850933)

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JavaScript Injection (1)

awpoopy (1054584) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850953)

Got the XSS alert when clicking on that link.
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