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Apple executives net $150M selling vested stock units granted in 2008

After a batch of restricted stock-based compensation vested last Saturday, three of Apple's executives sold off the shares, netting roughly $150 million after taxes.

Regulatory filings submitted to the SEC on Tuesday revealed the transactions, as reported by iPhoneinCanada.ca. Apple CEO Tim Cook, CFO Peter Oppenheimer, SVP Scott Forstall, SVP Phil Schiller and SVP Bob Mansfield were all reported as having vested restricted stock units on March 24.

The Cupertino, Calif., company granted the compensation in September 2008 in order to lock in its core executive team through 2012. At the time, shares of Apple stood at $105.26 and the stock grants were worth $122 million.

Cook received the largest award with a total of 200,000 shares. 93,360 of the shares were set aside to pay taxes on the award. After the remaining securities were sold off in batches, Cook netted $64 million. Earlier this month, the executive made $11 million off vested stock granted to him after he guided the company while the late Steve Jobs' was on medical leave.

After taxes, Oppenheimer made $47 million off his 150,000 shares, while Schiller netted $39 million from 120,000 shares. Cook, Oppenheimer and Schiller each had set up their trades through a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan that schedules transactions in advance to protect executives from allegations of insider trading.

Both Mansfield and Forstall did not appear to have automatically traded their vested shares, though SEC forms showed that they had surrendered the shares needed to pay taxes on their awards. Apple SVP Jonathan Ive presumably also received more than $50 million in vested stock, but the company is not required to file SEC forms for the awards because of his position.

According to an analysis by equity research firm Equilar, Apple's executives are at the top of the list for company leaders benefitting from stock compensation this quarter. Another analysis by the firm found Cook to have the highest value in vested stock options among Silicon Valley executives during the first quarter.

Last November, Apple granted six of its senior vice presidents 150,000 shares each, with half vesting in June 2013 and the second half in March 2016. Cook was awarded a million restricted shares last August for his new role as CEO. Half of the stock units will vest in 2016 and the second half will vest in 2021.

Apple announced a plan last week to repurchase $10 billion of its shares over three years. The program, which launches in fiscal 2013, is meant to offset the impact of employee equity grants and stock purchase programs.