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CEO Of Apple’s Sapphire Supplier Sold A Ton Of Stock A Day Before The iPhone 6 Event

Sunday, October 12, 2014

GT Advanced Technologies, the maker of ultra-durable sapphire displays, lost over 25% of its market value over the course of 48 hours last month — but not before the company's CEO sold 9,000 shares of GT stock, according to the Wall Street Journal's Daisuke Wakabayashi.

GT's CEO, Thomas Gutierrez, made a neat $160,000 when he sold a sizable chunk of stock on Sept. 8. 

GT's stock had been on the rise for about two years on speculation that its partnership with Apple would increase and sustain demand for the company's sapphire displays, which were poised to replace Corning's Gorilla Glass on the iPhone 6.

It didn't happen that way.

On Sept. 9, the day after Gutierrez cashed out, Apple announced the iPhone 6 at its gala event in Cupertino — but made no mention of a sapphire display.

You can see how that news — or rather, the lack of news — affected the company's stock price:

The day of the iPhone 6 announcement, GTAT dropped 13%. Over the next two days it would lose over a quarter of its value.

It's unclear why Apple didn't use sapphire to build the displays in its latest iPhones. The two prevailing theories are that GT couldn't scale to meet Apple's demand in time and that sapphire isn't as shatter-proof as we think it is.

The timing of Gutierrez's sale could be suspect. GT said Guteirrez's sale was planned back in March, according to the Journal.

GT's stock took another precipitous drop on Monday when the company announced it would file for bankruptcy.

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