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Twitter CFO Mike Gupta Sells Part of Stake After Lockup

Twitter CFO Mike Gupta
Mike Gupta, chief financial officer of Twitter Inc., sold 66,964 shares at $32.46 apiece in order to cover tax withholding obligations related to the vesting of restricted stock, according to a filing yesterday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Photographer: Jim Graham/Bloomberg

May 17 (Bloomberg) -- Twitter Inc. Chief Financial Officer Mike Gupta sold $2.17 million worth of shares in the microblogging service, the latest among executives to cut their holdings after a lockup on insider sales was lifted.

Gupta sold 66,964 shares at $32.46 apiece in order to cover tax withholding obligations related to the vesting of restricted stock, according to a filing yesterday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The share sale comes even as Twitter’s stock nears its all-time low, with shares down 49 percent so far this year. The selloff gathered steam this month after restrictions on the stock lifted. Twitter has reported two quarters of decelerating user growth since its initial public offering, raising questions about whether the company has enough momentum to justify its stock price.

Many Twitter insiders, including Chief Executive Officer Dick Costolo and co-founders Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey, have pledged to hold on to their shares to signal a vote of confidence in the company.

Other executives have been selling. Chief Operating Officer Ali Rowghani, who was among early shareholders banned from selling for a period after Twitter’s IPO, sold 300,000 shares of his stake for a profit of about $9.9 million last week. Vijaya Gadde, the corporate counsel, and Luca Baratta, a vice president of finance, also sold more of their stakes this week.

The shares of San Francisco-based Twitter fell 1.6 percent to $32.26 at yesterday’s close in New York. They debuted at $26 on Nov. 6.

Jim Prosser, a Twitter spokesman, declined to comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Frier in San Francisco at sfrier1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Pui-Wing Tam at ptam13@bloomberg.net Reed Stevenson

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