Asana CEO Dustin Moskovitz is buying the drop in a roller coaster year

Asana CEO and Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz

PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA | AFP | beautiful pictures

Dustin Moskovitz is acquiring. Again.

Billionaire co-founder and CEO of a cloud software provider Asana buying 81 million dollars the company’s stock value this week as part of a pre-arranged trading plan, bringing his purchase for the month to more than $195 million, according to SEC Records.

The deals followed a decline in the value of Asana, which had been the biggest tech flyer this year before a widespread sell-off in software and internet stocks. Since hitting a record high of $145.79 on November 15, Asana has lost half of its value, while the S&P 500 is down about 1% in that time period.

Moskovitz, who co-founded Facebook with his then-Harvard roommate Mark Zuckerberg, which now controls about 43% of the company’s combined Class A and Class B shares, up from 36% before the company New York Stock Exchange Launched in September 2020.

Moskovitz’s aggressive purchase contrasts with Zuckerberg’s recent sale, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who in recent months has significantly reduce the deposit amount in the companies they run.

Asana, whose software helps marketing, operations, and sales teams manage projects and collaborate remotely on campaigns, took a big leap in 2021. At its peak, stock The vote was about five times higher than it closed in 2020, outpacing all other countries in the US. technology stocks.

Investors are jumping on a growth story. Year-over-year revenue growth hit 72% in the second quarter and remained strong at 70% in the third quarter, when quarterly revenue hit $100 million for the first time.

While the stock is now trading for half of what it was about a month ago, Asana is still up 148% this year, beating every other stock in its 58 members. WisdomTree . Cloud Computing Foundation.

Continuing their roller coaster ride into 2021, stocks rebounded this week, up more than 7% on Wednesday and nearly 9% on Friday.

“There is a very clear answer, which is Dustin bought the stock,” said Rishi Jaluria, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets who recommends holding the stock. “It’s a big one. That’s what supports this.”

Asana refused to give Moskovitz an interview.

Like other high-growth cloud companies, Asana is still far from cash-generating and is suffering losses. Analysts expect the company’s adjusted net loss to grow to 99 cents per share next fiscal year from 96 cents per share in the current fiscal year, according to Refinitiv.

With inflation rising and the Federal Reserve prepare To start raising interest rates, investors have overlook Cloud software lost money and technology name and into areas considered safer in a volatile economic environment. Utilities and consumer staples have been the top performers in the S&P 500 over the past month.

Asana also faces specific challenges. Although the company’s net retention rate has grown rapidly this year, the company is struggling to get more revenue from existing customers, with bill growth slowing, Jaluria said. Tim Wan, Asana’s chief financial officer, tried to reassure investors, telling them on the latest earnings call that the bill “is not the best indicator of how we’re growing our business.” over time” as only a third of Asana’s customer base is billed monthly. .

Competition is still stout. Asana’s biggest customer is Amazon, Jaluria said. Amazon is evaluating competitors Smart Table for corporate use, information reported in November, citing an unnamed person.

“What would that grand vision look like if Asana’s biggest customer was using different solutions in different divisions?” Jaluria said.

A representative for Smartsheet declined to comment, and Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.

For his part, Moskovitz is undaunted, at least when you look at his buying patterns. He bought for between about $37 and $100, whether the stock rose or fell, records show. His most recent purchase was about $69.

Through its proactive buying, Asana has grown to about 33% of Moskovitz’s public portfolio, knocking Facebook down to 67% from 83% in the past year, according to FactSet.

“I don’t think that’s necessarily a signal,” Jaluria said. “I think it’s legitimate that Dustin wants a certain level of ownership and no price discrimination.”

Jaluria says that just because Moskovitz is upbeat about his own company’s prospects, other investors don’t necessarily follow his lead.

“What I’m always asked by investors is ‘What’s the end game here?’,” Jaluria said. “Obviously he’s not trying to take this company completely private, because they didn’t go public in the first place. So it can’t be.”

Whatever his motivations, Moskovitz has a cushion to help him absorb volatility. His net worth is $21 billion.

CLOCK: Jim Cramer says: New Asana going public is worth something, but shares ‘too high’ to buy Asana CEO Dustin Moskovitz is buying the drop in a roller coaster year

Sarah Ridley

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