Asana CEO Moskovitz is buying the dip in his software company’s stock during a roller-coaster year

Asana CEO and Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz

Dustin Moskovitz is buying the dip. Again.

The billionaire co-founder and CEO of cloud software vendor Asana bought $81 million worth of the company’s stock this week as part of a pre-arranged trading plan, bringing his purchases for the month to over $195 million, according to SEC filings.

The transactions follow a plunge in the value of Asana, which had been the highest of tech flyers this year prior to a broad selloff in high-multiple software and internet stocks. Since hitting a record high of $145.79 on Nov. 15, Asana has lost half its value, while the S&P 500 is down about 1% over that stretch.

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

Moskovitz’s aggressive buying stands in contrast to the recent selling by Zuckerberg, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who in recent months have offloaded considerable stakes in the companies they run.

Asana, whose software helps marketing, operations and sales teams manage projects and collaborate remotely on campaigns, has had a wild ride in 2021. At its peak, the stock was about five times higher than where it closed in 2020, far outpacing all other U.S. tech stocks.

Investors were jumping on a growth story. Year-over-year revenue expansion reached 72% in the second quarter and remained at a robust 70% in the third, when quarterly sales topped $100 million for the first time.

While the stock is now trading at half its price from about a month ago, Asana is still up 153% this year, beating every other stock in the 58-member WisdomTree Cloud Computing Fund.

Continuing their roller-coaster ride in 2021, the shares bounced backed this week, climbing over 7% on Wednesday and 11% on Friday.

“There’s a very obvious answer, which is Dustin has been buying up shares,” said Rishi Jaluria, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets who recommends holding the stock. “That’s the big one. That is what’s propping this thing up.”

Asana declined to make Moskovitz available for an interview.

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