After last Friday's fireworks, when David Faber reported that GOOG or Salesforce may be seeking to buy TWTR sending the stock price soaring 20%, today there was some early profit taking in Twitter shares after Oppenheimer downgraded Twitter to underperform from perform with $17 PT due to "lagging user growth/engagement, poor product implementation/execution, “inferior” advertising technology, platform safety issues, and rising competition." In effect, according to analyst Jason Helfstein, no buyer would be willing to pay more than $17 for the company.
While that may be the case, moments ago TWTR surged anew while Disney stock tumbled, following a Bloomberg report that Disney is said to be working with an adviser on a potential Twitter bid, citing people familiar with the matter.
Bloomberg adds that after receiving some inbound interest, Twitter started a process to evaluate a potential sale. Salesforce.com Inc. is also considering a bid, working with Bank of America on the process, according to other people, who declined to be named because the matter is private. Representatives for Twitter and Disney didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Speculation that Twitter will be sold has been gathering steam in recent months, including last week’s news about Salesforce’s interest. Twitter’s share price soared 21 percent Friday following reports of the talks. Disney, if it decides to make a bid, would be able to help the company further its video-streaming media strategy. Jack Dorsey, chief executive officer of Twitter, is also on the board of Disney.
Still, going back to the Oppenheimer report which admitted that aedia company is most likely buyer, it remains unclear how much such a buyer would pay. According to Helfstein, "probably wouldn’t pay much more than $17" adding that TWTR is overvalued vs peers, and is "already discounting a take-out premium" adding that a that buyer would have to ‘‘cash out employee options’’ and make substantial capital investments to improve user experience, advertising technology.
Finally, there is a question how and if Twitter's users would take to being owned not by a startup but by one of the biggest media conglomerates in the world.
Indeed, many questions and few answers for now, however at least as of this moment, the market is rewarding TWTR while punishing DIS... all of which may quickly reverse if Disney were to come out with an official statement denying the whole thing.