Jeff Bezos is cashing in on the coronavirus — and that could be good news for his rocket company, Blue Origin.
The 56-year-old Amazon CEO on Wednesday sold exactly 1 million shares — or $3.1 billion worth of stock in the e-commerce juggernaut, bringing his total stock sales for the year to over $7 billion.
The sale, which came a week after Amazon shattered expectations in its most recent earnings report, represented less than 3 percent of his massive Amazon stake, which is worth more than $175 billion. Bezos is currently worth $189 billion, according to Forbes.
Shares of Amazon are up more than 90 percent since the start of pandemic-related lockdowns in March, with massive gains fueled by stuck-at-home consumers turning to Amazon for their shopping needs. The stock rose 0.6 percent on Thursday to $3,225.
The billionaire announced in 2017 that he would be selling at least $1 billion worth of stock each year to fund Blue Origin, which recently posted job listings for its lunar lander program.
“The price of admission to space is very high,” Bezos said at a 2018 awards dinner. “I’m in the process of converting my Amazon lottery winnings into a much lower price of admission so we can go explore the solar system.”
Bezos is locked in a heated space race with fellow tech billionaire and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who runs his own rocket company, SpaceX. Both men want to launch a network of internet-beaming satellites, and both want to make space tourism accessible to the average person.