Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla cashed in on his company’s coronavirus vaccine breakthrough.
The executive sold more than $5.5 million worth of Pfizer stock on Monday — the same day the drugmaker said its experimental COVID-19 shot was more than 90 percent effective, records show.
The groundbreaking development sent Pfizer’s share price surging as high as $41.99 that day, its highest level in more than a year. Bourla dumped more than 132,000 shares for $41.94 apiece, just five cents shy of that peak, according to a Tuesday securities filing.
Those shares amounted to more than 60 percent of Bourla’s Pfizer stock holdings, the filing shows. He still owns 78,273 shares directly plus another 3,539 that are held indirectly.
The filing says the sale had been arranged in advance under a so-called Rule 10b5-1 trading plan, which allows corporate executives to make predetermined stock transactions in compliance with insider trading laws. Bourla adopted the trading plan in August of this year, according to the document.
Bourla — who got more than $15 million in total direct compensation from Pfizer last year, records show — wasn’t the only Pfizer honcho to make a well-timed trade on Monday.
Sally Susman, the Manhattan-based company’s executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer, dumped more than 43,000 shares to the tune of about $1.8 million, according to another securities filing. The sale was similarly made under a Rule 10b5-1 plan Susman adopted in November 2019, the filing says.
Pfizer did not immediately respond to an email Wednesday morning seeking more details about the transactions.
Pfizer’s blockbuster Monday announcement inspired a broader stock market rally on hopes that the vaccine would help the global economy recover from the deadly coronavirus pandemic. The Dow Jones industrial average soared 834 points to post its best day since June, while Pfizer shares ended the day up about 7.7 percent at $39.20.
The company’s stock price climbed 0.7 percent to $38.95 in premarket trading as of 7:58 a.m. Wednesday following a roughly 1.3 percent loss Tuesday.