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Shutterstock insiders offload stock

Shutterstock insiders, including founder Jon Oringer and other senior management, have been selling off their shares over the last 12 months, amid a continuous decline in the company’s share price.

Shutterstock’s share price performance over the last 12 months.

Share markets around the world are experiencing an alarming pull back, following an impressive run after the 2020 Covid crash. The US tech sector is one of the worst performers, with large-cap tech companies like Meta, Netflix, Paypal and others having a shocker 12 months.

Shutterstock has also followed this downward trend, with the stock price chart looking pretty grim. It hit an all-time high in November 2021m trading at US$128.83, and has pulled back steadily to below US$50.

This equals a -60 percent loss – similar drops to the aforementioned tech companies – with Shutterstock significantly under performing the New York Stock Exchange Index, which dropped by -17 percent.

This is despite an aggressive growth strategy through expensive acquisitions, including paparazzi agency Splash News, video-oriented stock agency Pond5 for US$210 million, graphics editor PicMonkey for US$110 million, and 3D content marketplace TurboSquid for US$75 million.

With this in mind it’s intriguing to note Shutterstock insiders – officers, directors, or a 10 percent holder of the company – have been selling far more shares than they have been accumulating.

Figures show that Shutterstock wins, contributors lose

Insiders sell shares for a variety of reasons, and it doesn’t necessarily indicate those close to the company believe it’s tough times ahead. Perhaps they need a little extra cash, or sometimes the sale is automatically triggered via a trading plan. Insiders offloading shares can be more common than accumulating, as some executives are partly paid in shares.

Although insider selling can be a red flag that some folk with company knowledge are concerned about the future share price performance. Insider accumulation can, likewise, be a sign that there is a belief the current share price presents a terrific buying opportunity.

But there has been minimal insider stock accumulation at Shutterstock during the last 12 month. When Inside Imaging conducted research in October, of the last 69 insider trades, 65 were sells according to NASDAQ Insider Activity data. During this period, insiders sold a total of 1.09 million shares, while only 79,471 were bought by insiders.

Since the beginning of 2022, Shutterstock founder Jon Oringer made 30 sell trades. This amounted to roughly 500,000 shares, sold in bundles at various prices, equalling a total of around US$57.7 million. Most trades were automatically triggered.

Getty went public (again) on the New York Stock Exchange in July and it, too, has performed poorly. The company’s IPO was at US$10 per share on the New York Stock Exchange. It hit a high of US$37.88 in August, and then began a steady descent. The share price is currently US$5.35, a 41 percent decline since IPO.

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