The work from home economy is as hot as a firecracker, it’s as hot as a forest fire in California, and it’s about to ignite $UPWK Upwork

Upwork Director Gregory Gretsch continues to buy large dollar amounts of gig economy upstart freelancer/independent contractor model Upwork. This time he bought 547,844 shares of UPWK at $14.71.  This is one of our largest holdings. We are big fans of Upwork and use their services repeatedly. It’s a great model.  They have a couple of direct competitors, Israeli-based Fiverr, and neither Fivvr nor Upwork are yet profitable, conventional fundamental analysis may not be useful and instead, we look at comparative analysis.
FVRR has been a stunning outperformer.  During the last 52 weeks, Fiverr has outperformed the S&P 500 by 324% while Upwork has underperformed by 16.75%  Fiverr has twice the market cap, at $3.7 Billion market cap to Upwork’s $1.78 Billion.  Why is there such a difference between the two models? It’s clear that this market rewards growth over all other metrics.

It’s Godzilla vs Kong. And Kong is kicking butt.

Market Cap $1.779 Billion $3.772 Billion
12 Month Rev $328.12 138.68
Revenue growrth rate 5.20% 38.01%
Year over year quarter revenue growth rate 17.87% 81.90%
P/E -84.35 -64.31
EV/EBITDA -117.04 -113.93
EV/FCF 62.86 -244.96
P/S 5.42 35.22

Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr are the three most active and popular freelancing websites worldwide. Upwork has over 12 million freelancers registered with it, as well as 5 million clients. Some 3 million jobs are posted every year, with USD 1 billion changing hands. It is the largest freelancing site in the world.

Fiverr has 3 million services listed on their website. Unlike other freelancing sites where clients post their projects and freelancers bid on them, on Fiverr, freelancers list their services and rate them between USD 5 and USD 500. Clients with projects can then approach the freelancers and directly negotiate for their services.Freelancer has 21 million users across the world. It won the Best Employment Website award for two consecutive years (2015 and 2016).


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Insiders sell stock for many reasons, but they generally buy for just one – to make money. You’ve always heard the best information is inside information.  Everyone who has any experience at all in the stock market pays close attention to what insiders are doing.  After all, who knows a business better than the people running it?  Officers, directors, and 10% owners are required to inform the public through a Form 4 Filing any transaction, buy, sell, exercise, or any other with 48 hours of doing so. This info is available for free from the SEC’s Web site, Edgar, although we subscribe to SECForm4  as they provide a way to manage and make sense of the vast realms of data. I’ve tried a lot of vendors and SECForm4 is one of the most customer friendly and responsive I’ve used. This is as close to “insider information” that an ordinary investor is likely to see- and it’s entirely legal. 

BEWARE– Following insiders can be hazardous to your financial health unless you know what you are doing.  Unlike the raw, unfiltered data, The Insiders Fund blog informs you of the purchases that count, the ones that are just window dressing into deceiving the public that all is hunky dory, and those that are just flat out other people’s money and should be just discarded like bad fish. As a rule, we only look at material amounts of money, $200 thousand or more, as anything less could just be window dressing.

The bar is different from selling because the natural state of management is to be sellers. This is because most companies provide significant amounts of management compensation packages as stock and options. Therefore, with selling, we analyze for unusual patterns, such as insiders selling 25 percent or more of their holdings or multiple insiders selling near 52-week lows. Another red flag is large planned sale programs that start without warning. Unfortunately, the public information disclosure requirements about these programs referred to as Rule 10b5-1 is horrendously poor. Also planned sales that just pop up out of nowhere are basically sales and are seeking cover under the Sarbanes Oxley corporate welfare clause. I also generally ignore 10 percent shareholders as they tend to be OPM (other people’s money) and perhaps not the smart money we are trying to read the tea leaves on.

Of course insiders can also be wrong about their Company’s prospects. Don’t let anyone fool you into believe they never make mistakes.  No one tracks and understands insider behavior better than us. We’ve been doing it religiously since 2001, when I quit being an insider myself and devoted myself full time to managing my personal investments. They can easily be wrong about how much others will value them, and in many cases, maybe most cases have no more idea what the future may hold than  you or I. In short, you can lose money following them.  We have and we curse aloud, what were they thinking!  Needless to say, past good fortune is no guarantee of future success.  We may own positions, long or short, in any of these names and are under no obligation to disclose that. We welcome your comments on our analysis.

This blog is solely for educational purposes and the author’s own amusement.  Investing with The Insiders Fund is for qualified investors and by Prospectus only. Nothing herein should be construed otherwise.  THE INSIDERS FUND invests in companies at or near prices that management has been willing to invest significant amounts of their own money in.  If you would like to hear more about how you can get involved with the Insiders Fund, please schedule some time on my calendar.

Prosperous Trading,

Harvey Sax

The Insiders Fund was the 4th best long-short equity fund in the world in 2019