CEO saved millions by selling vaccine stock before value tanked: report
CNBC screengrab.

New security filings show how one CEO saved himself millions by dumping stock in his own company.

"The stock price of government contractor Emergent BioSolutions has fallen sharply since the disclosure at the end of March that production problems at the firm's plant in Baltimore had ruined 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine. Since then, AstraZeneca moved production of its own vaccine out of the facility, and Emergent temporarily halted work there altogether," The Washington Post reported Sunday night.

"Those developments came after Emergent's stock price had tumbled on Feb. 19, following the company's published financial results. All told, Emergent stock has fallen since mid-February to about $62 a share from $125 a share, or 51 percent," the newspaper reported. "But the decline has had less of an impact than it might have on the personal finances of Emergent's chief executive, Robert G. Kramer, who sold more than $10 million worth of his stock in the company in January and early February, securities filings show. Based on the market price, the stocks that Kramer sold would now fetch about $5.5 million.

Five years ago, Kramer also sold stock in his company.

"The transactions were Kramer's first substantive sales of Emergent stock since April 2016, according to a review of securities filings by The Washington Post. Those 2016 sales by Kramer, along with sales by other Emergent executives around the same time, were the subject of a lawsuit brought by investors who alleged that executives offloaded stocks after making misleading claims about the scale of an upcoming order from the government for an anthrax vaccine. When the order turned out to be smaller than analysts anticipated, the share price fell. Emergent denied the allegations, but the parties later agreed to a settlement in which Emergent paid the investors $6.5 million," the newspaper noted. "Kramer's sales were made as part of a trading plan that he adopted on Nov. 13, according to securities filings. Such plans, which establish in advance when stocks are to be bought and sold, are intended to protect company insiders from suggestions that they traded on the basis of confidential information that would influence the stock price, which is unlawful."