One of Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)’s largest investors, T. Rowe, appears to be low on confidence regarding the stock following the first quarter swoon. T. Rowe Price Group has sold off one-fourth of its Twitter stake in the period ending March, with 13.56 million shares remaining in its portfolio, according to a May 15 regulatory filing. The mutual funds firm sold 4.65 million shares in the first quarter which is double compared to any other investor, says a report from Bloomberg.
Twitter insiders dumping
T. Rowe’s sale comes in stark contrast to the optimistic tone from investors such as co-founders Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey, venture capital firm Benchmark, and Rizvi Traverse Management LLC. The micro-blogging site’s stock dropped 27% in the first quarter and 50% this year due to a decline in user growth rate, which raises questions about the company’s business model. Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) stated that in the previous year, membership expanded 25% in the first quarter, a decline from 30% growth in the previous period.
Earlier this month, many insiders at Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) sold shares for the first time after the expiration of the lock-up period following the company’s November initial public offering (IPO). Some high-ranking executives who sold the stock are Mike Gupta (chief financial officer), Ali Rowghani (chief operating officer) and Vijaya Gadde (corporate counsel). Some of the sales were related to tax obligations, according to regulatory filings.
T.Rowe bullish on Twitter competitors
T. Rowe earned maximum profit by investing in the company early, as in 2009 it joined Institutional Venture Partners, Benchmark and Spark Capital in a $100 million investment round that valued Twitter at $1 billion. T. Rowe is now out of the ten biggest shareholders of Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), although the firm remains the company’s 12th the largest stakeholder with 2.3% of outstanding shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Boston-based Fidelity Investments sold 1.77 million shares during the first quarter, leaving it with just 378,960, as per the data.
T. Rowe bought 5.8 million Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) shares in the quarter and owns 2.1% of that social network. Also the mutual fund firm purchased 1.48 million LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) shares, amounting to 7.1% of the company’s Class A shares.