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Who Has Been Selling Twitter, Inc. (NYSE:TWTR) Shares?

It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. The flip side of that is that there are more than a few examples of insiders dumping stock prior to a period of weak performance. So shareholders might well want to know whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in Twitter, Inc. (NYSE:TWTR).

What Is Insider Selling?

It is perfectly legal for company insiders, including board members, to buy and sell stock in a company. However, such insiders must disclose their trading activities, and not trade on inside information.

We would never suggest that investors should base their decisions solely on what the directors of a company have been doing. But logic dictates you should pay some attention to whether insiders are buying or selling shares. As Peter Lynch said, ‘insiders might sell their shares for any number of reasons, but they buy them for only one: they think the price will rise.

Twitter Insider Transactions Over The Last Year

Over the last year, we can see that the biggest insider sale was by the Chief Accounting Officer, Robert Kaiden, for US$406k worth of shares, at about US$43.04 per share. While we don’t usually like to see insider selling, it’s more concerning if the sales take place at a lower price. The silver lining is that this sell-down took place above the latest price (US$33.23). So it is hard to draw any strong conclusion from it.

Insiders in Twitter didn’t buy any shares in the last year. You can see the insider transactions (by individuals) over the last year depicted in the chart below. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!


NYSE:TWTR Recent Insider Trading, January 16th 2020

Twitter Insiders Are Selling The Stock

The last quarter saw substantial insider selling of Twitter shares. In total, Chief Accounting Officer Robert Kaiden sold US$288k worth of shares in that time, and we didn’t record any purchases whatsoever. This may suggest that some insiders think that the shares are not cheap.

Insider Ownership

Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. Usually, the higher the insider ownership, the more likely it is that insiders will be incentivised to build the company for the long term. Twitter insiders own about US$922m worth of shares (which is 3.6% of the company). I like to see this level of insider ownership, because it increases the chances that management are thinking about the best interests of shareholders.

What Might The Insider Transactions At Twitter Tell Us?

An insider hasn’t bought Twitter stock in the last three months, but there was some selling. Looking to the last twelve months, our data doesn’t show any insider buying. On the plus side, Twitter makes money, and is growing profits. While insiders do own a lot of shares in the company (which is good), our analysis of their transactions doesn’t make us feel confident about the company.

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