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BlackBerry executives sold shares as Reddit-driven rally started

BlackBerry executives sold shares as Reddit-driven rally started

FILE PHOTO: The Blackberry logo is shown on a office tower in Irvine, California, U.S., October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

REUTERS: Three BlackBerry executives, including the chief financial officer, sold US$1.7 million of the telecoms technology firm's stock in the early days of this month's meteoric share price rise, filings with securities regulators show.

BlackBerry and other heavily shorted stocks have soared in the past few days as traders organising on social media platforms such as Reddit took on the hedge funds making bets against them. The stock sales represent one of the first examples of company executives cashing out on the frenzy.

The executives sold their holdings on Jan 20 at prices ranging from US$12.63 to US$13.01, nearly double what the stock had been trading at a week earlier.

BlackBerry shares climbed as high as US$28.77 in New York on Wednesday (Jan 27) and ended trading on Thursday at US$14.65.

Chief Financial Officer Steve Rai sold almost 33,000 shares, his entire position in the company, according to a filing made with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Jan 21, in a trade valued at US$428,731.

Mark Wilson, the company's chief marketing officer, sold 78,500 shares, worth US$991,455, according to a filing.

Billy Ho, who leads divisions within Blackberry, sold US$259,000 of shares.

All of the executives have sold stock periodically over the past year. The disposals at the start of the Reddit-driven rally represent the largest for the executives in the last year, according to filings.

"The BlackBerry executives traded during an open trading window, as permitted under company policy, and all of our executives continue to have strong equity-based incentives through our long-term equity program," a BlackBerry spokeswoman said in an email.

BlackBerry did not make any of the executives available for comment.

Source: Reuters/zl

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