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3/4/2003
02:07 PM
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Microsoft CEO Sells $49 Million Worth Of Shares

Steve Ballmer sold 2 million shares at at average price of $24.66 as part of a plan to diversify assets

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Microsoft Corp. chief executive Steve Ballmer sold $49.3 million worth of shares of the software giant's stock, according to a regulatory filing Friday.

Ballmer sold 2 million shares at an average price of $24.66 on Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange filing said. After the sale, Ballmer held 419.5 million shares in Microsoft, which is based in Redmond, Wash.

Ballmer said May 23 that he intended to sell company shares under a fixed trading plan to diversify his assets. Since then, he has reported selling 51.4 million shares.

SEC Rule 10b5-1 allows company insiders to set up a trading plan so information they acquire later isn't a factor in their trading decisions.

Ballmer hasn't specified under what circumstances his trading plan allows for the sale of shares, nor has he indicated how many shares are involved in the plan.

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