Nike stock soars. Co-founder Phil Knight sold a large block of shares.

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Nike co-founder and chairman emeritus Phil Knight sold $125 million worth of stock as it traded near a record high.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images


Nike

stock took the coronavirus pandemic in stride, and co-founder Phil Knight sold a large block of the apparel giant’s stock. He also donated nearly $1 billion in stock to an unnamed charity.

Listed Class B shares of Nike (ticker: NKE) jumped 28.4% year-to-date through Wednesday’s close, outpacing the 5.8% rise in the


S&P 500 index,

a large measure of the market. On Tuesday, Nike shares traded at an intraday high of $130.44. Earnings for Nike have been strong as the company benefits from a home workout trend. One observer thinks Nike shares could benefit from a Democratic victory in November.

Knight sold 800,000 Class B shares of Nike on Oct. 2 for $100.2 million, or an average per share of $125.31. According to a form he filled out with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Knight now holds 3,335,687 Class B shares in a personal account. Another SEC form showed that Knight owned 31.4 million Class A Nike shares as of July 17.

A week earlier, on September 25, Knight had donated 7.25 million Class B shares to an undisclosed charity of which he and his wife Penelope are directors. Based on the stock’s closing price that day, the shares were valued at $901 million.

Class A and B shares each carry one vote, but Class A shareholders elect nine of Nike’s 12 directors, while Class B shareholders elect three. Class A shares are not publicly traded, but are convertible into Class B shares on an individual basis.

Nike said Knight, who is chairman emeritus and attends board meetings as a nonvoting observer, was unavailable to comment on his stock sale and charitable donation.

Knight’s stock sale was its first on the open market in more than a decade. On October 27, 2009, he sold 92,300 class B shares for a total of $5.8 million, an average per share of $62.80.

Inside Scoop is a regular Barron column that covers the stock trading of corporate executives and board members – the so-called insiders – as well as major shareholders, politicians and other important figures. Due to their insider status, these investors are required to disclose stock trades to the Securities and Exchange Commission or other regulatory groups..

Write to Ed Lin to [email protected] and follow @BarronsEdLin.

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