Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) Explores a “Slow Rolling” Auction of Itself
$TWTR, $GOOGL, $CRM, $VZ, $SQ
Twitter Inc. (NYSE:TWTR) has initiated talks with several technology companies to explore selling itself, a person familiar with the matter said Friday. Thus, signaling the beginning of a “slow-rolling” auction of the high-profile, money-losing social media company.
For months the company has struggled with stagnant user growth, soft advertising sales and losses running at hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
The company’s business struggles came even as the service evolved into a global source of news, entertainment and social commentary.
Analysts see Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google as the most likely buyer for Twitter.
Anonymous sources reported Friday that Twitter is in talks with companies including Google and Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) and may receive a formal bid soon.
Twitter and Alphabet did not respond to a request for comment. Salesforce declined to comment.
Verizon (NYSE:VZ) another company mentioned in media reports Friday as a possible suitor, said it did not comment on M&A rumors but that it had not submitted a bid for the company.
Twitter shares rose more than 19% to $22.22 per share Friday, marking the largest 1-day rise since their 1st day of trading in Y 2013. The company now has a market value of around $16-B.
Co-founder Jack Dorsey returned to the company as CEO in Y 2015 while retaining his role as CEO of payment company Square (NYSE:SQ), and his plan for reviving Twitter is unfinished. Recent moves to be a big player in live video, including a deal to broadcast NFL games, are too new to be reflected in user growth or ad sales.
The most unexpected development Friday was Salesforce.com’s interest in acquiring Twitter. Salesforce serves business customers with cloud-based computing services and has virtually no presence in consumer media.
But a recent presentation about its new “Einstein” AI (artificial intelligence) platform provided a look at how Twitter could fit into the company’s strategy.
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is active in political causes in San Francisco and 2 companies are located just blocks from each other in the city.
Twitter went public in November 2013 at 26/share. The shares topped above 74 just over a month after its IPO, but have headed South since. From then through Thursday’s close at 18.63, the stock had lost 75% of its value.
|NYSE:TWTR||22.62||23 September 2016||3.99||21.5||22.89||21.11||192,323,400|
|HeffX-LTN Analysis for TWTR:||Overall||Short||Intermediate||Long|
|Bullish (0.27)||Bullish (0.31)||Bullish (0.40)||Neutral (0.11)|
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