The result? Twitter shares, which had been up and down over the past several weeks, bumped up Wednesday on comments by Twitter co-founder, Evan Williams.
What Williams Said
Asked about the possibility Twitter would be acquired, Williams indicated that management would “have to consider the right options.”
Exactly what those “right options” would be is unknown. What is known is that the company has given every indication it plans to reorganize, including adding new streaming deals with the NFL and others. In addition, Twitter brought back former CEO Jack Dorsey as part of its turn-around strategy.
‘No Sale Likely’ Says Bob Peck
SunTrust’s Bob Peck do not believe Twitter will be for sale for a year or more. At least they didn’t when rumors were flying that Steve Ballmer and Saudi Arabian Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal were interested in the company near the beginning of Aug.
Reasons cited by Beck and company included the return of Dorsey to the CEO position. Dorsey was brought back a year ago to fix Twitter and barring a calamity it makes little sense to sell the company now.
A second reason for a ‘no sale’ attitude is that the re-formed board of directors continues to support Dorsey and wants to give him time to prove himself.
SunTrust has a Neutral rating and $18 target on Twitter. WooTrader reports 34 analysts currently give TWTR a ‘Perform’ rating. Zacks and TipRanks both have a ‘Hold’ rating on the stock.
Getting Back To Williams
On the other hand, there are those cryptic, somewhat hesitant comments by Evan Williams. In addition to his “consider the right options” comment Williams also told Bloomberg TV, “We are in a strong position right now.”
Whether that is true or a sales pitch, it reflects an attitude on the part of at least one influential board member that the right offer would not be ignored.
Twitter shares spiked 4.5% on Williams’ remarks, closing at $19.21 Wednesday Stock opened Thursday at $19.37 and was up $0.41 or 2% by midmorning Thursday sitting at $19.61.
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Twitter Takeover Rumor Countdown
This isn’t exactly the first time Twitter has been the object of takeover rumors. In addition to the Steve Ballmer, Al-Waleed bin Talal private equity takeover chatter last month, the list of potential suitors is impressive – and long.
In January, Twitter jumped 14% on rumors that News Corp (TSX:NWSAC) was interested. That same month The Wall Street Journal reported interest on the part of Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGC), Time Warner Inc. (:TWXN/A) and 21st Century Fox Inc. (TSX:FOXAA).
February brought reports of interest on the part of Marc Andreessen and private equity group, Silver Lake Partners and in March Google (Alphabet) rumors resurfaced.
June was a busy month featuring takeover or merger rumors regarding Yahoo! Inc. Stock not found YHOO, Alphabet (again) and Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ:CMCSAC). During that same month Nick Bilton at Vanity Fair said Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPLC), Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FBC) and Alphabet would likely not bid on Twitter.