Twitter Inc (TWTR) Shares Continue to Drop — Is a Buyout Now Likely?

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Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) shares continue to tumble in early morning trading today as investors seem to have lost confidence in the stock as of late. Executive changes and a slowdown in new registrations have decreased the company’s value in the market’s eyes. With a market cap under $17 billion, one has to ask if the company, whose stock was trading as high as $69 just 23 months ago, could be an acquisition target.

Although there has not been any official interest in buying out Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) as of late, the valuation certainly could be appealing to a Google, Microsoft or even an Apple, as the social network coud be incredibly valuable from both a data and a traffic perspective. With many of these tech firms hoarding cash, a purchase of the social network may actually make sense for some. The stock is down 2.48% or $0.62 following the news, hitting $24.4 per share. Approximately 4.17M shares traded hands. TWTR shares have declined 33.95% since May 4, 2015 and are currently downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 32.87%.

From a total of 16 analysts covering Twitter Inc (NASDAQ:TWTR) stock, 7 rate it a “Buy”, 0 a “Sell”, and 9 a “Hold”. This means that 44% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $56 while the lowest target price is $30. The mean of all analyst targets is $37.40 which is 53.28% above today’s ($24.4) stock price. Twitter Inc was the topic of 17 analyst reports since July 29, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. JMP Securities downgraded shares on October 14 to a “Market Perform” rating. Moffett Nathanson initiated shares with a”Neutral” rating and a $30 target share price in their report from a September 8. Axiom Capital upgraded TWTR stock in a recent report from October 5 to a “Buy” rating. Suntrust Robinson upgraded the rating on August 31. Suntrust Robinson has a “Buy” rating and a $38 price target on shares. Finally, Citigroup maintained the stock with a “Neutral” rating in a report they issued on a September 24.

The institutional sentiment decreased to 1.26 in Q2 2015. It’s down 0.40, from 1.66 in 2015Q1. The ratio dropped, as 115 funds sold all their Twitter Inc shares they owned while 123 reduced their positions. 91 funds bought stakes while 210 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 300.24 million shares which is 25.33% less than the previous share count of 402.08 million in 2015Q1.

Institutional Venture Management Xii Llc holds 100% of its total portfolio in Twitter Inc, equating to 418,115 shares. Rizvi Traverse Management Llc owns 2.80 million shares representing 100% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Ah Equity Partners Iii L.L.C. has 80% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 1,202 shares. The California-based Kpcb Dgf Associates Llc has a total of 28.92% of their portfolio invested in the stock. Contrarius Investment Management Ltd, a Jersey-based fund reported 2.97 million shares owned.

Twitter, Inc. is a global platform for public self-expression and conversation in real time. The company has a market cap of $16.91 billion. The Firm offers services and products for users, advertisers, developers and platform and data partners. It currently has negative earnings. Products and services for users enables a way for people to create, distribute and discover content, which enables a user on Twitter to create a tweet and a user to follow other users.

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