Jeff Bezos bought an Amazon share and nobody knows why

Bloomberg — Jeff Bezos, the world’s third-richest person, took an unusual move about two weeks ago: bought a single share of Inc. (AMZN), the company he founded, for $114.77.

The purchase, revealed in a presentation, is the first since 2002. Bezos is best known for the opposite action, considering that he sold some US$30,000 million in shares since that year to finance companies such as Blue Origin, rocket companies, or personal initiatives such as his $500 million superyacht.

Following Amazon’s 1997 IPO, Bezos received no further shares in compensation and earned modest salaries. He still owns 10% of the company, which accounts for most of his wealth, at $148 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Buying shares on May 25 has made him about $10 richer, as the company’s shares were trading around $124 on Friday, driven by a broader technology rally that pushed the S&P 500 Index into a bull market this week.

Bezos’s move has confused Amazon analysts and stock watchers who are at a loss for what to make of the singular purchase. Social media was abuzz with theories, with one person speculating that Bezos planned to give the physical certificate as a gift and others murmuring that he must have accidentally hit the buy button in his brokerage account. Amazon and a representative for Bezos declined to comment on the purchase.

“I needed one more action to regain control,” joked Mark Shmulik, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. (Bezos owns 9.7% of Amazon’s shares and retains voting control of the 2.9% stake held by MacKenzie Scott, his ex-wife, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.)

Shmulik’s serious response, like everyone else’s: “I’m trying to figure out what that was about.”

Then there’s the theory that Bezos is doing something similar to meme fan Elon Musk.

The Bezos purchase was announced the next day at 4:20 p.m. New York time, according to the filing. He also donated 69,290 shares worth nearly $8 million to a nonprofit organization, according to the statement. The youthful humor implicit in the figures led several people to speculate that perhaps a joke is being played on us.


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Jeff Bezos bought an Amazon share and nobody knows why