Top EA execs sell shares as stock hits six-year high

Patrick Soderlund and Stephen Bene unload entire stake, as Peter Moore sells 100,000 shares, netting himself $3.4 million.

by

Top Electronic Arts executives are unloading shares in the company by the thousands.

Securities & Exchange (SEC) documents filed last week (and spotted by CVG) show that executives Patrick Soderlund (EVP of EA Games) and Stephen Bene (EA general counsel) sold their entire stake in the company, while COO Peter Moore sold half his shares.

The stock sale comes as EA's share value rocketed to its highest point since 2008 following the company's positive earnings report last week. The day after the sale, shares jumped by a massive 20 percent. Below is a chart showing how the stock sales break down.

We have reached out to EA's corporate communications department for further context surrounding these stock sales. Last year, then-EA Sports head Andrew Wilson unloaded his entire stake in the company. He has since been named CEO of EA.

NameShares soldSale PriceProceedsNumber of shares owned following sale
Patrick Soderlund36,133$34.5373$1,247,9360
Stephen Bene7,771$33.4005$259,5550
Peter Moore100,000$34.5313$3,453,140108,691

Looking ahead, EA has a number of marquee titles on its hands for the fall season, including Dragon Age: Inquisition, The Sims 4, and a "major" Frostbite 3-powered game that will be announced at E3. EA plans to show off six new games during its press conference at the show next month. Star Wars: Battlefront, from Battlefield developer DICE, will also be on-hand during the presentation.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

58 comments
vadagar1
vadagar1

ultra capitalism... got to love the demon hordes the serve the money god

sjansen100
sjansen100

I now dub this thread...."Thread of Infinte Hyperbole"

SingletreeAve
SingletreeAve

They probably want to invest their proceeds in Facebook.

KiLLLeR150
KiLLLeR150

lawl, shows how much confidence they have in their own company.

Auriken
Auriken

EA: We're doing pretty good and making good money.

EA Haters: That means they're suffering and the company is dying.


I love the EA haters logic. Somehow, someway they'll always find a way to be hateful.

GSGuy321
GSGuy321

EA is in a heap of trouble and they know it.

Nice pay day for that a**hat empty suit Peter Moore... $3.5 mil.

GSGuy321
GSGuy321

Translation: the numbers were reached by slashing payroll and other costs, we don't believe in our own company.

Techtroll
Techtroll

Why would he sell all his shares if the company is doing so good, somethings not right...

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

I sometimes wonder why big corporations don't buy countries.

Vojtass
Vojtass

He he he, I would do this too

M3o5nster
M3o5nster

Titanfall isn't the next Call of Duty??.. Abandooonnn Shiiiiiiiiiiippp!

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

If I had that much money I'd move to Scotland!

de-astroturfer
de-astroturfer

Another rat jumps ship, he probably heard rumours they're going to regulate Micro transactions, thats how this scum bag company makes money these days exploiting customers with addiction issues ! If that gets regulated its just a steady decline for EA's profits / share price 

amdreallyfast
amdreallyfast

According to my calculations, Peter Moore could buy approximately 85,000 copies of BF4 with that.

heretrix
heretrix

Eh. This happens all the time. As much as I'd like to give EA crap, this is looking pretty legit. EA is a public traded company so the info is out there and pretty easy to get.


It's business.

Hurvl
Hurvl

I thought execs only did this when they were about to leave the company or when the company was in a bad shape. I thought it was considered a faux pas to sell in your company, because it gave it out a signal that they didn't believe in the company's long time revenue aspects or something. Personally, I would sell if it would make my wallet happy, but that's just me.

mattcake
mattcake

Translation: We know the next game we are releasing is gonna tank our share price.

dnmt
dnmt

What do they know that we don't?

Topology
Topology

The only surprising thing about this is that one of them kept some of his stock.

nickpeck36
nickpeck36

That's the way the stock market works, buy low, sell high.  If I could do that I would!

demondogx
demondogx

that usually happens when they know that this is gonna be as good as it gets in a long time

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

Either they're gonna kill EA now or it's actually gonna be good. Guess which one is most certainly correct.

berserker66666
berserker66666

Make shitty buggy half assed games, create false hype, make Day One DLC/microtransactions, rinse and repeat = PROFIT.


The EA way.

olddadgamer
olddadgamer

@KiLLLeR150 Um.... no.  Shows how much faith they have in the stock market.  


Stock price has very little to do with performance.  It has to do with investors looking at the global market.  Investors are jittery.  They also tend to cash out when a stock hits a high water mark..  Silly not to.  


I mean, look at today.  Different industry.  Hillshire farms is buying out Pinnacle foods.  Now, comment logic would say, sorta correctly: HA! End of pinnacle!  But today's stock prices?  Pinnacle up 14%, Hillshire down 6%.  That won't last, of course.  


Smart investing: Sell high, esp. when the market is overvalued.  Wait for the dust to settle when the market corrects, use some of that 3.4 million to buy your stake back, spend the difference, live the high life, rinse, repeat.  


Ain't got nothing to do with their confidence in EA. 

beuneus12
beuneus12

 EA haters...

lol, you a hipster or something?

HIT3kNology
HIT3kNology

@GSGuy321 Just another Lemming who has no clue what you're even talking about. While he's making millions you'll be lucky if you can even get a position at McDonalds

olddadgamer
olddadgamer

@GSGuy321 Dude, whenever a company lays off 5000 people, the stock price goes up.  When you slash costs, profit rises, stock price goes up. 

Mr_Big_Boss
Mr_Big_Boss

@Techtroll The shares haven't been this high in 6 years. It's a good time to unload because it might take another 6 years before they're valued this high again.

de-astroturfer
de-astroturfer

@The-Neon-Seal They might go independent in which case they'll loose the pound and with it a whole heap of investment will in all likelihood be leaving Scotland just as your money is coming in, Alex Salmon will be eying up your bank account to pay the welfare bill ;)

beuneus12
beuneus12

@Hurvl  uhm no, they get share options as part of their salary package. Basically an incentive for them to make the stocks go up. So selling when they think the stock is at its peak is a smart decision

Barighm
Barighm

@Hurvl Nah, it's just good trading practise, but it looks bad when execs do it.

nickpeck36
nickpeck36

@berserker66666 They aren't the only company that does that haha, welcome to most of the gaming industry today.

Auriken
Auriken

@beuneus12 I have far more...colorful words to call them, but Gamespot is going a bit crazy deleting comments that have even the slightest hint of hostility these days.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@Barighm @HurvlI've seen that it's not considered "good manners" for execs to sell off their stock, but never knew why or why execs were excluded from the basic strategy of buy low sell high. They should be able to take advantage of the stock market as much as the next guy, right?

olddadgamer
olddadgamer

@enoughofthis @olddadgamer@KiLLLeR150Sure it will, for a while.  Just like every tech company is these days.  But that has nothing to do with the overall health of the company.  


Stocks of big companies go up and down and up and down and up and down.  The trick isn't whether your company, or any individual company, is being successful.  It's looking at the overall sector of the market, and how it's priced relative to it's overall value.  Stocks right now are overvalued across the board.  People will cash out, thing'll drop, people will buy back, it'll go back up.  Circle of life.  


Watch: Today the dow hit a record high.  Probably some time in the next few days, it'll have a triple digit drop.  Does that mean recession?  Of course not.  It'll go down a few hundred points, people will buy back in.  That's the macro scale.  Companies are the micro scale, but they have the same cycle.

olddadgamer
olddadgamer

@GSGuy321 @olddadgamerUm.... how does that translate to no faith in the company?  I mean, often a company slashes costs not because they are in trouble, they slash costs because the company is overspending.  If you don't need those 5000 people to make money, it's a smart business decision to cut them and up your profits.  Hiring like crazy isn't a sign of growth, unless it's done wisely.  Firing often times is just cutting the fat from an overbloated company, making it leaner and meaner. 

de-astroturfer
de-astroturfer

@The-Neon-Seal @de-astroturfer  Yeah its mental they'll be rebuilding Hadrians wall next, ;) I would suggest using EU citizenship to claim freedom of movement, but in all likelihood Spain will veto Scotland's membership.