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Sun COO files to sell shares

Ed Zander files to sell up to $3.4 million in the company's stock, during a year in which it has seen little insider selling.

Sun Microsystems' chief operating officer Ed Zander has filed to sell up to $3.4 million in the company's stock, during a year in which it has seen little insider selling.

Zander plans to sell 69,260 shares, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The sale would represent nearly 20 percent of the 352,436 shares he held last year, according to the company's proxy. Zander also holds slightly more than 800,000 options that have yet to vest.

Sun insiders other than Zander have sold roughly 500,000 shares this year--far below the two million to three million shares sold at the company during the preceding three years on a split-adjusted basis, said Craig Columbus, an insider trading analyst with Disclosure.

"Sun insiders have refrained from selling for most of the stock's 1998 upside," he said.

Shares of Sun largely have trended up since April, when the stock was trading around 40 a share. It spiked to the low 50s in mid-July and since has eased back a bit.

Columbus noted that he's not surprised to see some of insider sales picking up at the company now, given that such activity has been relatively quiet for most of the year. (Columbus is a columnist for CNET News.com.)

He said also that the recent insider sales should "put to bed" any rumors of Sun being a takeover candidate of IBM. Earlier this month, Sun's shares rose 7.5 percent between August 4 and August 6 on rumors of such a takeover.