After the lockup on hundreds of millions of Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) shares, some insiders have held onto their stock. However, the micro-blogging company’s chief financial officer isn’t one of them. Regulatory filings indicate that Mike Gupta unloaded $2.17 million worth of Twitter stock.
Gupta sells Twitter stock
Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission show that Gupta sold nearly 67,000 Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) shares for around $32.50 each. Meanwhile the company’s stock has fallen 49% year to date and is approaching its all-time low. If the current trajectory continues, the stock could fall all the way to its debut price of $26 per share.
Earlier this month, hundreds of millions of additional Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) shares owned by insiders were unlocked for trading. In addition to Gupta, Chief Operating Officer Ali Rowghani dumped some stock, disposing of 300,000 shares and raking in approximately $9.9 million in his sale last week. Corporate Counsel Vijaya Gadde and Finance Vice President Luca Baratta both sold shares as well, as did Chief Operating Officer Ali Rowghani.
Will Twitter stock ever recover?
The question investors must ask now is whether Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) shares will ever recover their highs from December 2013. At that time, investors were blindly excited with the company, which had its initial public offering in November. The Slant suggests the turmoil may not ever be over for Twitter, highlighting a handful of reasons why.
As most investors are concerned about, author Jeff Reeves points to Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)’ decelerating user growth. As of the end of the last quarter, the micro-blogging company had 255 million users, which missed forecasts of 257 million. That number also reflected 25% year over year growth, compared to 30% growth at the end of the previous quarter. Three years ago, Twitter was doubling its user base quarter over quarter, so Reeves believes this means we could soon see Twitter’s user number peak.
Problems with Twitter’s spending habits
Reeves also notes that Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) continues to fail to make a profit. Of course this is a pretty common issue in technology stocks in their early months. However, he’s concerned that the company’s revenues and user growth are already flattening out. He thinks that if Twitter doesn’t hurry to monetize its users better, it will see its revenue growth decline and thoughts of earnings evaporate entirely.
He also notes some a couple of issues related to how Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) spends its money. Management is seeing handsome stock compensation in spite of the company’s inability to turn a profit. The company reported on its last earnings report that its $132 million GAAP shortfall included $126 million in stock-based compensation expenses. Twitter went on to project that stock-based compensation would be between $640 million and $690 million for the full year. As Reeves notes, that’s on $1.3 billion in projected revenue for the full year.
He also pointed to a recent profile of Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) COO Ali Rowghani in The Wall Street Journal. He notes that the profile described him has “the only adult at ‘a company filled with young engineers hungry to build a product.'” He notes that this indicates that Twitter’s employees don’t consider profits or how investors perceive the company. He says this view is dangerous in a publicly traded company.