The CEO just sold 900,000 of his Whitehaven shares. What’s going on?

An older woman with grey hair and wearing glasses looks at her laptop screen with her hand outstretched to demonstrate that she doesn't understand what she is reading

An older woman with grey hair and wearing glasses looks at her laptop screen with her hand outstretched to demonstrate that she doesn't understand what she is reading

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is again on the rise this Thursday. At the time of writing, the ASX 200 has gained another 0.29%, putting the index at just over 7,250 points. But the same can’t be said of the Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC) share price this Thursday.

Whitehaven shares, as we covered yesterday, have enjoyed some breakneck gains this week. Between last Friday and yesterday’s close, the Whitehaven share price rocketed by an impressive 17.5% or so. But today, the coal miner has lost a nasty 7.69% of its value, putting Whitehaven down to $8.88 a share.

So what’s going on with Whitehaven today that has prompted such a dramatic reversal of fortune?

Whitehaven shares fall on CEO sales

Well, it could be the result of an ASX announcement released to the markets this morning.

Whitehaven has announced the company’s managing director and CEO, Paul Flynn, has just sold 900,000 Whitehaven shares. This was reportedly done “for personal reasons, including to satisfy personal tax obligations arising from the issue of shares under the Company’s Equity Incentive Plan”.

The sold shares were held indirectly by Flynn through a company called Elimu Pty Ltd as trustee for the PYC Family Trust and the Pirata Superfund.

This sale netted Flynn approximately $7.88 million in proceeds.

So news of this sale may have dampened investors’ enthusiasm for Whitehaven shares today. Investors rarely like to see insiders selling shares of the company they are running, especially the CEO.

Saying that, Whitehaven did also state the following, perhaps to address these potential concerns:

Following the sale, Paul Flynn retains a significant interest in the Company and remains one of the Company’s largest individual shareholders, with a holding of 1,070,451 shares, 449,884 vested performance rights and 2,534,161 performance rights which are subject to meeting vesting conditions.

But even so, investors don’t seem to be in too forgiving a mood today. However, it might not matter too much for longer-term investors. Even after today’s falls, the Whitehaven share price is still up a whopping 226% in 2022 to date. The company is also up close to 1,000% over the past two years.

The post The CEO just sold 900,000 of his Whitehaven shares. What’s going on? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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