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Pfizer CEO Joins Host of Executives at Covid-19 Vaccine Makers in Big Stock Sale

Pfizer CEO Joins Host of Executives at Covid-19 Vaccine Makers in Big Stock Sale

The timing this week of Pfizer Inc. Chief Executive Albert Bourla’s sale of about $5.6 million in company shares—on the same day it announced positive

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The timing this week of Pfizer Inc. Chief Executive Albert Bourla’s sale of about $5.6 million in company shares—on the same day it announced positive results from its Covid-19 vaccine—is drawing scrutiny from some investors.

Mr. Bourla sold about 60% of his personal Pfizer holdings Monday, joining some top executives at other drugmakers that are in pursuit of Covid-19 vaccines, including Moderna Inc. and Novavax Inc., who have sold large chunks of stock after promising news about their own coronavirus shots, as well as at other times. But some investors say the stock sales, though eye-catching, aren’t necessarily a concern.

On Monday, Pfizer and partner BioNTech said their Covid-19 vaccine showed in an early analysis to be more than 90% effective at preventing infections of the disease. The company is waiting on safety data, but could file for emergency authorization with regulators as early as later this month.

The news vaulted Pfizer and BioNTech to the front of the global race for a safe and effective vaccine and caused Pfizer’s share price to spike almost 15% to $41.99, its highest in more than a year. Global markets surged too, latching onto hopes the world may be a step closer to returning to normal.

Mr. Bourla sold more than 132,000 directly-owned shares at $41.94 per share, equal to more than 60% of his personal stockholding of Pfizer, according to a regulatory filing. He still owns 78,273 direct shares and 3,539 indirectly. On Wednesday, the shares closed at $38.52.

This post first appeared on wsj.com

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