Oh boy . . . Pfizer CEO, Albert Bourla, hopped on CNBC this week to tout their vaccine trial results, dubbing it a “critical milestone”, and “the most significant medical advancement in the last 100 years.” They reported a staggering 90% efficiency rate in a trial of 94 observed cases with thousands of participants, conveniently after Dr. Tony Fauci was eyeing anything over 70% as significant progress. This buy the rumor, buy the news event sent Pfizer’s stock price ($PFE) soaring 15%.
Needless to say, Bourla’s single day sale of about $5.6 million in company shares gave the internet skeptical hippo eyes. It’s only about 60% of his personal holding in Pfizer and 30% of his 2019 salary. He claims the sales were part of his “personal financial planning” and a predetermined 105b-1 plan that he implemented in August, meaning they were authorized under the SEC watchdogs.
Al Bourla took down $18.2 million in comp’s last year, including a base salary of $1.6 million, a $3.6 million annual bonus, and an estimated $13 million in long term stock awards granted in February 2020. It’s all tied to Pfizer’s forward progress, to which he’s still partial to as a holder of over 80,000 shares even after the public pre-market announcement. Credit goes to A.B., he only trimmed his position, it wasn’t a total dump.
Bourla isn’t first pharm executive to cash out their market gains during the pandy. In fact, the top five executives at Moderna ($MRNA, also developing a vaccine) have sold off more than $80 million in stock this year. The result? It’s gone totally parabolic, advancing more than 300% since January 1st, well before us normies were privy the virus.
Moderna, unlike Pfizer, accepted money from the government in order to help fund the research and development of its vaccine through “Operation Warp Speed”. Pfizer had their hands in Operation Warp Speed top, by accepting money for the acquisition and distribution of doses of the vaccine. However, federal funding didn’t go toward the development of the vaccine— normal. And while Moderna’s stock has gone apeshit this year, Pfizer’s stock is down more than 2% since the beginning of 2020.