Twitter Inc Insiders Miss Out On Millions In Share Sales

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In all seven Twitter insiders sold shares before this week’s earnings report

Twitter insiders have been selling off shares of their company right and left, and there was a slew of them in regulatory filings from earlier this week. Shares of the micro-blogging platform surged last night after its latest earnings report, so the insiders who sold shares just days ago are probably shaking their heads now.

As of this writing, shares of Twitter are up 15.68% to $47.73 per share, which means some of those insiders who sold shares earlier this week have lost out on millions of dollars.

Of course we must keep in mind that executives follow a pre-arranged trading plan to avoid accusations of insider trading based on events that could move their company’s stock price significantly—such as Twitter’s blockbuster earnings report. Pre-arranged plans allow executives to set certain prices that trigger their share sales.

As a result, we could see a whole bunch more insider sales of Twitter shares in the next few weeks, depending on what their pre-arranged trading plans say.

Costolo missed out on more than $1 million

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and co-founder Jack Dorsey are among those who moved shares around this week. In all, there were seven filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission dated Feb. 3, continuing the long trend of insider selloffs we’ve been seeing in Twitter stock.

Costolo exercised 125,000 stock options, bringing his share total up to 943,608. On the same date, however, he sold all of those shares in two separate transactions. The CEO sold 100,218 shares at a price of $38.22 per share and the other 24,782 shares at a price of $38.91 per share. After the transactions, Costolo was left with 818,608 shares under his direct ownership.

The executive raked in approximately $4.81 million in those transactions. Had he waited to sell his shares, he could potentially have raked in about $6 million. Of course that depends on what his prearranged trading plan says and how long it would take him to change it if he wanted to (as it does with all of the following scenarios).

Dorsey unloads shares

In a pair of transactions, co-founder Jack Dorsey also sold some Twitter shares. On Feb. 3, he sold 50,266 shares at a price of $39.87 per share. The following day, he unloaded 151 shares for $40.07 each. He owned all of those shares indirectly.

The sales earned the Twitter chairman about $20.2 million, although he would have raked in about $24.2 million if he had sold at the current level. Dorsey was left with about 21.9 million shares under his indirect ownership after selling the shares.

Five other Twitter insiders sell shares too

Twitter’s president of revenue, Adam Bain, sold about 39,000 shares of Twitter on Feb. 3, earning about $1.5 million, compared to the $1.9 million he could potentially have earned by waiting. Bain was left with nearly 533,000 Twitter shares under his direct ownership and 1 million shares under indirect ownership after the sale.

General Counsel Vijaya Gadde also sold more shares, this time unloading about 19,500 Twitter shares in a series of transactions on Feb. 3 and 4 for around $40 per share. The sales earned the executive approximately $780,000, compared to the $936,000 that could have been earned. Gadde was left with about 750,500 Twitter shares after the sales.

Luca Baratta, vice president of finance and accounting, sold 11,000 shares for about $38 each, earning $418,000. The executive could have raked in 528,000 by waiting. Baratta was left with about 326,500 Twitter shares.

Engineering VP Alexander Roetter sold 25,000 shares in transactions dated Feb. 3 and 4 at a price of $38.74 to $40.40 each, raking in approximately $987,500. If he had waited, he could have gotten $1.2 million. Roetter was left with nearly 880,000 Twitter shares after the transactions.

Product VP Kevin Weil has been selling shares of the company for some time as well. This time he unloaded about 22,500 Twitter shares at prices between $38.75 and $40.40 each for a total of about $889,000. He could have raked in $1.08 million by waiting.

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About the Author

Michelle Jones
Michelle Jones was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Michelle has been with ValueWalk since 2012 and is now our editor-in-chief. Email her at [email protected]

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