Welcome to the latest instalment in our ongoing series where we revisit prior 2iQ insider trading reports to see how their trades have developed.
In our last look back, we analysed the performance of Sanlorenzo SpA’s stock price. In this edition, we’re taking a look at Upwork, an online company that operates an employment marketplace, which we reported on back in August 2020.
Why is it worth tracking the stock prices from insider trades?
2iQ Research publishes regular reports on significant insider trades. Insiders typically have extensive business experience, allowing them to carry out well informed investments when paired with their access to real-time company intel.
Upwork insider trading activity
Upwork provides customers with an easy and accessible method of sourcing highly skilled freelancers across a wide range of industries. 2iQ reported on a number of trades made by an Upwork insider in August 2020:
- Board Member Greg Gretsch purchased 547,844 Upwork shares between 7 August and 11 August 2020. This cost the insider around $8.1 million on stock.
Gretsch is a founding partner and managing director of venture capital firm Jackson Square Ventures, which specializes in marketplace startups.
The scale of these transactions are also important, especially when we factor in Gretsch’s prior Upwork investments that we reported on in May 2020. Those purchases saw his stock rise in value by 70% over three months.
How have those different investments fared as of October 2021?
What has happened to Upwork’s stock price?
At the time of our August report, the average share price of Gretsch’s purchases was $14.63, rising to $61.52 at the time of writing (October 26, 2021). Upwork’s shares have seen a staggering increase of around 320% since August 2020.
To best illustrate the scale of this trade’s performance, let’s track how Gretsch’s investment has grown. His 547,844 Upwork shares were worth around $8.1 million back in August 2020, which has seen a 320% increase in value. As of late October 2021, the insider’s investment is worth over roughly $34 million, a difference of nearly $26 million.
That profit is impressive. In fact, if we look back further to his May 2020 investment, we begin to see an excellent track record. He purchased 542,996 Upwork shares at an average of $10 back in May, valued at around $5.4 million. As of the time of writing, this investment would have grown by 515% to over $33.2 million.
Upwork's sales increased at a far higher rate than in the previous four years, indicating that the company's ability to catch the attention of both large and small businesses throughout the world improved during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This increase in growth rates corresponds to the increased use of hybrid work approaches globally, a trend that will certainly support Upwork's business model, in which companies have become more accustomed to hiring remote employees.
Revenue for Q3 2021 is between $130 million and $132 million, while revenue for the full year of 2021 is forecasted by Upwork to be between $496 million and $498 million.
For more analysis of prior 2iQ insider buying reports, check out the 2iQ blog.