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Jack Dorsey Bought Some Twitter Stock, but He Sold a Lot More

The public vote of confidence has pushed Twitter stock up more than 9 percent.

Kimberly White / Getty Images Entertainment

Co-founder and Interim CEO Jack Dorsey bought more than 31,600 shares of Twitter stock Monday, tweeting out a link to the purchase filing along with the message: “Investing in @twitter’s future.” The move pushed Twitter’s stock up as much as 9 percent Monday afternoon after it hit an all-time low last week.

The reason? Interim CEO reassurance!

But while it’s a nice public showing, the fact of the matter is that Dorsey has sold, not bought, a lot of Twitter stock over the past nine months.

Dorsey has sold nearly 380,000 shares of Twitter stock since November 2014, according to SEC filings. That means he has bought back less than 10 percent of the shares he’s been offloading since that time. Some of those sales happened through Dorsey’s various trusts, all of which he controls. Also, most of his stock activity has gone through a trading rule that allowed him (and other Twitter executives) to sell stock at regular intervals to avoid the appearance of any insider trading. (Dorsey and others stopped using that program after investors questioned the founders’ apparently freewheeling stock sell-offs.)

All of that highlights the fact that Dorsey has been offloading more shares than he’s been buying. He’s not alone. Fellow co-founder Ev Williams is also selling with regularity. Like Dorsey, Williams has sold more than he has bought. Since the end of March, he has sold more than four million shares, or nearly 9 percent of his holdings.

Of course, CEOs and company founders regularly sell their company stock; it’s often their main form of compensation. So selling stock isn’t shocking.

Board member Peter Currie also bought stock Monday; Peter Fenton, the board member helping spearhead the company’s CEO search, bought over $200,000 worth of stock on Friday. It’s an obvious show of support for Twitter.

Still, while the company was dealing with major growth concerns and a looming CEO search (the company claims Dick Costolo’s departure was in the cards since last year), its board was selling stock. Now it’s buying Twitter stock at the cheapest it has ever been. Kudos to Dorsey for the strategy; Twitter stock is benefitting because of it, and many out there appreciate the public boost. But the support, like the company stock, feels a little cheap right now.

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