Does this mean that the CBS chief believes that his stock has topped out, and it’s time to bail? Not according to a CBS rep: Les Moonves‘ estate plan — it’s called a 10b51 –provides for stock purchases and sales to automatically take place at set times, and this happens to be one of those times. According to an SEC filing, this week Moonves acquired 450,000 shares from options at $23.19 a share (or $10.4M), and sold 675,000 for prices ranging from $49.02 to $49.51 a share (for $22.1M). No matter what motivated the sale, that’s a tidy profit with CBS — which closed today at $50.06 — hovering around its all time high (measured since 2006 when it was spun off from Viacom). But many prominent execs use automatic triggers for their estate trading to avoid sending an unintended signal to investors who keep an eagle eye on insider trades to see when the people who know a company best believe that the stock price is about to change its trajectory. Moonves can’t avoid the spotlight when it comes to financial affairs: His $62.2M compensation package for 2012 made him one of corporate America’s highest paid execs.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.