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Don’t Read Too Much Into Peter Thiel’s Facebook Selling


The long-term value of Facebook was called into question this week after director Peter Thiel cashed out most of his stake.

According to a regulatory filing, Thiel sold roughly $400 million worth of shares.

Thiel sold his shares on Thursday and Friday at average prices ranging between $19.27 and $20.69 per share after the end of the first lockup, which barred early investors and insiders from selling shares following the initial public offering.

Peter Thiel Did Nothing Wrong: Top VC

Thiel, who co-founded PayPal and was among Facebook's earliest backers. A spokesman for Thiel declined to comment on the sales.

Immediately chatter on the Street called the move into question – with many investors saying Thiel’s move is a sign of problems at Facebook.

However, Ann Winblad, a partner at Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, feels quite differently. As a silicon valley insider, she says Thiel’s actions should not draw scrutiny – that he did nothing unusual.

When asked if Thiel's actions betray a lack of commitment to Facebook, Winblad told us that it wasn't fair to say that.

"His job is, over time, to distribute those shares to his limited partners and then allow his partners to decide whether they're holders or sellers. Thiel is not supposed to hold shares forever."

It's worth noting Thiel still owns roughly 5.6 million shares of Facebook. And his intentions were first filed with the SEC on May 18th.

Posted by CNBC's Lee Brodie

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Trader disclosure: On August 21, 2012, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders; Josh Brown is long AAPL; Josh Brown is long DEM; Jon Najarian is long AAPL CALL SPREADS; Jon Najarian is long BAC CALL SPREADS; Jon Najarian is long JPM CALL SPREADS; Jon Najarian is long WFC CALL SPREADS; Jon Najarian is long GLD CALL SPREADS; Jon Najarian is long SBUX CALL SPREADS; Jon Najarian is long FB CALL SPREADS; Jon Najarian is long EEM CALL SPREADS; Jon Najarian is long GLUU; Jon Najarian is long CME; Jon Najarian is long CBOE; Jon Najarian is long STSI; Stephen Weiss is long JPM; Stephen Weiss is long AAPL; Stephen Weiss is long TBT; Stephen Weiss is long WLT; Joe Terranova is long VRTS; Joe Terranova is long MCD; Joe Terranova is long SBUX; Joe Terranova is long WFM; Joe Terranova is long AAPL; Joe Terranova is long CSTR; Joe Terranova is long CHKP; Joe Terranova is long EMC; Joe Terranova is long NXPI; Joe Terranova is long SEPT. XLF $15 CALLS; Joe Terranova is long AAPL $640 PUTS

For Ann Winblad
Ann Winblad is long AAPL
Ann Winblad is long GOOG

CNBC.com with wires.