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Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe Systems.

Akio Kon/Bloomberg


stock slid after the software company reported third-quarter earnings, and Chairman and CEO Shantanu Narayen sold shares into the dip.

Adobe reported a strong third quarter after the market closed on Sept. 21. Investors, however, may have wanted to see higher recurring revenue. At the start of October, Adobe named a new chief financial officer. The stock, a Barron’s pick to rebound after its September slump, is now lagging behind the 17% rise in the

S&P 500 index
year to date.

Narayen sold 40,000 Adobe (ticker: ADBE) shares on Sept. 24 for a total of $24.8 million, a per share average price of $620.26. According to a form he filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Narayen sold the shares through a trust that now owns 329,717 shares.

Adobe didn’t respond to a request to make Narayen available for comment on the stock sale.

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Narayen also sold Adobe shares earlier in 2021—unloading 80,907 shares in January for $38.2 million, at a per share average price of $471.85. Those sales were conducted by the trust through a so-called Rule 10b5-1 trading plan adopted in October 2020, which automatically executes trades when certain preset conditions, such as price and volume, are met. The plan is intended to remove the possibility that an insider could take advantage of his knowledge of material nonpublic information.

Narayen’s latest sale alone has topped the dollar volume of his total 2020 stock sales of 50,000 shares, amounting to $22.1 million at an average price of $442.37 each.

Inside Scoop is a regular Barron’s feature covering stock transactions by corporate executives and board members—so-called insiders—as well as large shareholders, politicians, and other prominent figures. Due to their insider status, these investors are required to disclose stock trades with the Securities and Exchange Commission or other regulatory groups.

Write to Ed Lin at [email protected] and follow @BarronsEdLin.


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