As many of you may already know, GT Advanced Technologies (NASDAQ:GTAT) filed for bankruptcy yesterday after being unable to service their debt commitments. Because they defaulted on their debt, they had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which as a result caused their stock to plummet 90% in a single day.
According to the Wall Street Journal, GT Advanced’s CEO Thomas Gutierrez had sold shares on Sept. 8 at an average price of $17.38. The next day, after Apple’s announcement, GT shares fell 13% to $14.94 and they would eventually fall as low as $0.83 yesterday after rebounding today up to $1.21 per share. However, Gutierrez claims that his share sale was part of a pre-arranged plan put in place on March 14, 2014.
However, if you look at his share sales in 2015, they amount to around 700,000 shares and total a whopping $10 million. This is in addition to the fact that he had not sold any shares at all in 2013, even though he had become CEO back in 2009. Things seriously don’t look good for Gutierrez, and other executives within the company should also be checked for any sort of insider trading when you consider that some of them very likely knew what was really going on.
As a whole, in 2013, Gutierrez made a total of $5 million, most of which was issued in the form of company stock. When you take into account that he took in $10 million from sales of his stock this year alone, you can start to see why his sales of shares in 2014 seem a bit shady. Sure, he was trying to capitalize on a higher share price, but CEOs are rarely allowed to trade based on the future unless they plan to manipulate the future in order to benefit from the inflated share price.
All of this is conjecture, unfortunately, but the numbers do tend to have a way of speaking for themselves. There’s a very good chance that GT Advanced will have some sort of investigation to explain what happened and where $1.85 billion in shareholder equity evaporated and why company executives had not done their job to inform investors.