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Nvidia Executives Profit from Soaring Stock Amidst Market Volatility


Leo Gonzalez

March 7, 2024 - 14:27 pm


Nvidia Insiders Capitalize on Soaring Stock Market Valuation

As the stock market remains volatile, certain insiders at Nvidia, an American AI juggernaut, have seized the opportunity to cash in on the considerable appreciation of their shares. Following a staggering threefold increase over the past year, this move is hardly surprising. Regulatory filings disclose that a couple of Nvidia's executives liquidated approximately $180 million of company stock recently. Tench Coxe, a member of Nvidia's board since 1993, parted with 200,000 shares on March 5 at prices ranging from $850.03 to $852.50. Following this transaction, Coxe has retained ownership of over 3.7 million Nvidia shares. Based on current market values, his sale resulted in earnings exceeding $170 million. Concurrently, another director, Mark Stevens, sold 12,000 shares on March 4, with prices between $852.06 and $855.02, accruing about $10 million.

While insider trading often entails a certain level of secrecy, the actions of Nvidia insiders are drawing particular attention. This is especially the case given that Nvidia is now considered a cornerstone stock globally with a market capitalization of $2.2 trillion, trailing only Microsoft and Apple as the world’s most valuable public entities. These new stock dispositions follow in the footsteps of other obscure insiders who divested themselves of 99,000 shares valued at around $80 million following the company's stellar quarterly report last month.

Federal Reserve Chairman Signals Potential Rate Cut

The monetary policy scene remains under intense scrutiny, a scenario epitomized by the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's impending testimony before U.S. lawmakers. The day after the Central Bank of Canada chose to maintain its steady rate, all eyes are now once again on the U.S. Federal Reserve. Powell hinted during a Senate banking committee session that the phase of aggressive rate hikes might have concluded and that a rate reduction could be deemed "appropriate" at some juncture within the year depending on the economic track the nation takes. Powell's further elaboration on this statement is keenly awaited by investors and analysts alike. Meanwhile, north of the border, Tiff Macklem, the Governor of the Bank of Canada, indicated that any anticipated rate reductions would not happen as rapidly as the previous increments. He conveyed to BNN Bloomberg’s Jon Erlichman that an expectation of rate cuts mirroring the ascension's velocity would be misguided.

One-Year IPO Drought at TSX: A Historical Low

The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) is on the cusp of marking a disheartening anniversary, signifying almost a full calendar year devoid of new companies venturing into the public market. The last company to take the plunge was Lithium Royalty Corp., which managed to garner $150 million through its IPO in March of the previous year. Since then, the climate has been particularly harsh, stifling new offerings due to waning investor interest. This dramatic fall in IPOs has labeled 2023 as the most challenging year for the TSX in three decades, representing a stark contrast to the 40+ issuances recorded in 2022. This trend extends to smaller exchanges within Canada that cater to startups and small caps, which are also experiencing negligible IPO activities. Experts forecast that the scarcity might persist until the second half of 2024 and only pick up to a limited extent. A core issue is that several sectors that TSX prominently hosts are currently out of favor with investors. Grant Kernaghan, from Citigroup Inc.'s Canadian division, highlighted to Bloomberg that unlike the IPOs proliferating in the U.S. market, the Canadian economy's focus is not aligned with sought-after industries like AI.

Severance Saga: Laurentian Bank's Standoff with Former CEO

An intriguing behind-the-scenes dispute is unfolding at Laurentian Bank. The Montreal-based financial institution is ensnared in severance negotiations with its erstwhile CEO, Rania Llewellyn. Llewellyn's tenure was historically significant given her rank as one of the highest-placed women in the Canadian banking sector; a position yet to be reached by any CEO among the Big 6 banks. Her dismissal in October, subsequent to a strategic analysis that failed to find a buyer for the bank, has left her termination payment terms up in the air. The bank's annual proxy circular, made public recently, admits that Llewellyn's severance payment issue is yet to be resolved. The bank indicated in an email to Bloomberg, as the discussions are still in progress, further details could not be shared at this time. In the context of International Women's Day, this severance dispute is particularly noteworthy, as it may reflect on the broader conversation concerning wage disparities.

Panama's Cobre Mine Closure: Financial and Industrial Repercussions

Panama's government has projected a significant financial figure of roughly $800 million for the closure of the Cobre Panama copper mine, one of the world's major copper deposits. The decision to shut down the mine last year came unexpectedly and disoriented the forecast for its owner, TSX-listed First Quantum Minerals. Jorge Rivera, the country's Trade and Industry Minister, addressed the media, stating that closure proceedings may span six to eight months. The government is actively exploring options to share the closure costs rather than shouldering it entirely. After injecting billions into the mining project, only to have it abruptly suspended, First Quantum is unlikely to agree to additional expenses. Amidst this stalemate, Panama's elections loom in May, suggesting that the issue may linger beyond the political event. Regardless, the mine's significance, rivaled only by Panama's famous canal in terms of GDP contribution, and the global demand for copper, starkly opposes the notion that the project might be permanently halted.

The Voyager building at Nvidia headquarters

The Voyager building at Nvidia headquarters, courtesy of Bloomberg.

In conclusion, as we review these various global and national economic developments, Nvidia stands out for its remarkable growth trajectory, making its insider trading activities a subject of great speculation. Monetary policies in both the U.S. and Canada signal a cautious optimism about steering the economy through murky waters. The prolonged IPO drought on the TSX brings to light sectoral biases and vulnerabilities. Concurrently, Laurentian Bank's standoff with its former CEO sheds light on severance norms and gender equity within corporate Canada. Lastly, the staggering financial demands for closing the Cobre Panama mine underscore the intricate ties between industry, governance, and international markets. The conflicts, anticipations, and strategic shifts outlined here offer insightful snapshots of the corporate and economic landscapes in times of uncertainty and transformation.