Why is Eric Schmidt Dumping Nearly Half of His Google Stake?

Former Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt is about to sell a sizable share of his company holdings, according to a recent regulatory filing, and investors are taking it as an ill-omen, bidding down shares in pre-market trading.

Now Google’s executive chairman, Schmidt filed an 8-K with the SEC on Friday. He will sell up to 3.2 million shares, roughly 42 percent of his 7.6 million-share stake. At Google’s Friday closing price of $785.37, the shares Schmidt hopes to sell are worth roughly $2.5 billion.

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Google’s SEC filing says Schmidt’s sale is part of a long-term effort to diversify assets and add liquidity, but anytime someone dumps that many shares, especially in a company currently trading near record highs, there’s going to be some pullback.

To reduce his impact on the market, Schmidt will spread his stock trades over the course of the next year.

Shares fell 0.94 percent to $777.99 in pre-market trading.

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