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Andreessen selling 200,000 shares

Netscape's cofounder files to sell with the SEC but still holds 700,000 shares, as well as 1.6 million stock options.

Marc Andreessen, executive vice president and cofounder of Netscape Communications, has filed to sell 200,000 shares of the company's stock valued at $4.28 million, according to a regulatory filing.

Netscape confirmed the accuracy of the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission According to Netscape, Andreessen still holds 700,000 shares of the company's stock, as well as 1.6 million stock options.

The Internet software maker declined to comment on the reason for the stock sale, and Andreessen could not be reached for comment. Executives at the company, however, routinely pare back their corporate holdings to diversify their stock portfolios.

Although many at Netscape have been filing to sell--five of the company's top executives filed to sell a total of 1 million shares in March, including Andreessen, who filed at the time to sell nearly 375,000 million shares--some also have elected to purchase more shares. In June, for example, Netscape CEO and president James Barksdale bought 300,000 shares at $24.27 per share, according to SEC filings.

"I'm surprised there hasn't been more profit-taking this summer," said Craig Columbus, an insider analyst with Disclosure, an information research and retrieval firm.

"I thought the Barksdale buy was a really nice signal which the Street embraced," Columbus added. "But selling on a pullback may cause institutional investors to take a harder look at the stock."

Netscape has rebounded from its 52-week low, but still is trading below its trading levels of earlier this year, when the company's shares were buoyed by a surge in Internet stocks and improved financial results.

Shares of Netscape were trading 4.66 percent higher at 22.44 in afternoon trading today. The stock has traded as high as 44.5 and as low as 14.88 during the past 52 weeks.

"The Barksdale buy gave the stock some insider momentum and this selling sort of puts the brakes on that," Columbus concluded.

Netscape chairman James Clark sold 360,000 shares of Netscape stock at between $25 and $28.13 per share from August 24 to August 27. He conducted the sale through his Monaco Partners L.P., in which he is the sole proprietor. His partnership holds 13.9 million shares.

News.com's Dawn Kawamoto contributed to this report.