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Gates Sells 9 Million Shares, Pockets $245 Million

Even after the sales, Gates still owns more than 988 million shares of Microsoft, which were worth $26.3 billion at Friday's mid-morning price.

Another week, another quarter of a billion dollars.

Such is the life of Bill Gates, Microsoft's chairman and chief software architect, and by Forbes magazine's estimate, the richest person in the world. In three transactions since last Friday, Gates has sold 9 million shares, and raked in just over $245 million.

According to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, Gates sold common stock starting Feb. 3, with two more days of selling on Feb. 6 and Feb. 7. The transactions ranged in size from 1.2 million shares on Monday to 800 shares that same day, and were for prices ranging from $26.87 to $27.67.

Don't cry for Gates' slowly-decreasing number of shares. Even after walking away with $245,080,593 -- minus commissions -- for selling less than 1 percent of his holdings, Gates still owns more than 988 million shares, which were worth $26.3 billion at Friday's mid-morning price.

The last time Gates unloaded Microsoft stock was during a 10-day span in November 2005, when he sold 19.9 million shares.

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