America Online Executives File to Sell 419,000 Shares

By Heather Green Bloomberg News | THE JOURNAL RECORD, June 5, 1997 | Go to article overview

America Online Executives File to Sell 419,000 Shares


Heather Green Bloomberg News, THE JOURNAL RECORD


DULLES, Va. -- America Online Inc. officers and executives filed to sell 419,000 shares worth about $21.7 million as the No. 1 online company's stock rose toward a 52-week high.

Co-founders James Kimsey and Steve Case, who is also the company's chief executive, president and chairman, led the filing with 100,000 shares each, according to the Washington Service, which tracks insider transactions.

Case stands to gain $4.93 million, based on the AOL stock's closing price of 493 on May 16, the day he filed to sell. That was near an 11-month high of 51 1/2 reached on May 5. Since his filing, the shares have climbed to 58e, their highest level since May 8, 1996. AOL shares Wednesday rose e to 56e. Company executives also sold shares in February and March. `'We're definitely keeping an eye on this,'' said Bob Gabele, editor of the Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based CDA/Investnet Insiders' Chronicle, which tracks buying and selling by company executives and offers investment advice based on those transactions. "The selling is more persistent than the last time the stock moved up in 1995." Case sold 100,000 shares for about $4.28 million on March 5 and 6. Seven executives sold a total of 258,000 shares for about $10.9 million in February and March. AOL shares have risen 73 percent in 1997, as the company introduced a flat-fee subscription rate, increased revenue through ads and electronic commerce and said it's overcoming network problems that plagued it late last year. Case had about 3.08 million shares and options at the end of April, AOL said. The recent sales are options related, the company said. AOL executives are restricted from selling shares except following its quarterly earnings report, the company said. The most recent window is May 8 to June 13. "AOL's philosophy is that executive compensation should be tied to the performance of the company,'' said AOL spokeswoman Tricia Primrose. The executives receive lower annual salaries compared with other companies and rely on stock appreciation to boost their salaries, Primrose said. AOL's shares fell 17 percent in 1996 amid competition from companies including Microsoft Corp., AT&T Corp. and other Internet- service providers that were charging lower prices. The stock hit a 52-week low of 22: on Oct. …

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