Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) Insiders have sold approximately $11 million worth of shares recently. From Nov. 3 to Nov. 5, five insiders unloaded a total of 260,465 shares for $10.6 million at an average of $40.60 each under planned Rule 10b5-1 sales, which included options exercises, says a report from Barron’s.
Insiders unloading Twitter stock
CEO Dick Costolo offloaded 141,730 shares for $5.75 million in his first open-market transaction. After the sale, he was left with 545,856 shares directly and 425,190 shares indirectly. The Twitter CEO’s direct holding represent a less than 1% stake in the company.
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Another top line executive, Adam Bain, president of global revenue, exercised options and sold 60,358 shares, receiving $2.45 million in return. After selling, Bain held 589,690 shares directly and 100,000 shares indirectly.
Vijaya Gadde, general counsel, dumped 22,377 shares for $908,309, out of which 11,434 shares were sold to cover taxes, according to the regulatory filings. After the transaction, she holds 806,852 shares directly. In a separate transaction, Luca Baratta, vice president of finance, sold 11,000 shares for $447,044, out of which 5,880 shares were sold to cover taxes. Alexander Roetter, vice president of engineering, offloaded 25,000 shares for $1.02 million, of which 13,610 shares were sold to cover taxes.
Costolo joined Twitter in 2009 as the chief operating officer, and was designated as the CEO in 2010. Bain, Baratta and Roetter have been with the company since 2010. Gadde joined Twitter in 2011.
Long-term profile better for Twitter
Twitter became a public company on in Nov. 7, 2013, and its IPO was priced at $26. Since then it has been rough going for the company, and year to date, shares are down by 38%, closing at $39.51 on Monday. Ryan Jacob, chairman, chief investment officer and portfolio manager at Jacob Asset Management, said that the weakening share price is negative but will stay for the short term at least. He added that although the decline is justified, but a few points stand in sharp contrast.
In an interview with Barron’s Jacob said, “There are a lot of good things at Twitter. It’s a ubiquitous network platform with no direct competitors.”
He added that Twitter is not dependent on advertisement, and it does not need it either, as everyone promotes their Twitter handle. “Long-term, the margin profile for Twitter is probably one of the highest out of the companies we own,” said Jacob.