Twitter (TWTR) Shares Gap Up on Analyst Upgrade

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) gapped up before the market opened on Monday after Zacks Investment Research upgraded the stock from a hold rating to a buy rating. The stock had previously closed at $23.76, but opened at $24.35. Zacks Investment Research now has a $28.00 price target on the stock. Twitter shares last traded at $25.41, with a volume of 37046000 shares trading hands.

According to Zacks, “Twitter shares have outperformed the industry in the past one year. The platform is attracting users due to its openness, real-time content, conversational format and distribution ability. The company is focusing on boosting user growth rate and engagement levels by taking various measures like making tweeting easier for people and more expressive. Twitter has been benefiting from rising number of increasing mobile users and strategic acquisitions. Moreover, aggressive cost cutting will help Twitter achieve long term EBITDA target. We believe Twitter’s much awaited turnaround likely to be driven by its focus on live video streaming which, in turn, will bring more ad dollars. Estimates have been going up ahead of the company’s Q4 earnings release. The company has positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on TWTR. Pivotal Research reissued a “hold” rating and set a $21.00 price objective on shares of Twitter in a research report on Wednesday, January 10th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Twitter from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 28th. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and set a $16.00 price objective on shares of Twitter in a research report on Thursday, September 28th. SunTrust Banks reissued a “hold” rating and set a $18.00 price objective (up previously from $16.00) on shares of Twitter in a research report on Friday, October 27th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Vetr raised shares of Twitter from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $27.54 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, January 8th. Eleven research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty have issued a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $19.13.

In other Twitter news, CAO Robert Kaiden sold 6,574 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $20.59, for a total transaction of $135,358.66. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, General Counsel Vijaya Gadde sold 15,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $18.19, for a total transaction of $272,850.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 5,335,712 shares of company stock valued at $113,614,151 in the last ninety days. 9.18% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Exane Derivatives raised its position in shares of Twitter by 18.7% during the 3rd quarter. Exane Derivatives now owns 59,516 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $1,004,000 after buying an additional 9,363 shares in the last quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank raised its position in shares of Twitter by 21.3% during the 2nd quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 7,592 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $136,000 after buying an additional 1,333 shares in the last quarter. Global X MANAGEMENT CO LLC raised its position in shares of Twitter by 16.3% during the 3rd quarter. Global X MANAGEMENT CO LLC now owns 835,541 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $14,096,000 after buying an additional 116,985 shares in the last quarter. PineView Asset Management LP raised its position in shares of Twitter by 179.4% during the 2nd quarter. PineView Asset Management LP now owns 799,121 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $35,689,000 after buying an additional 513,084 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Amerigo Asset Management raised its position in shares of Twitter by 46.2% during the 3rd quarter. Amerigo Asset Management now owns 6,875,910 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $115,997,000 after buying an additional 2,172,000 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 50.69% of the company’s stock.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.35, a quick ratio of 10.40 and a current ratio of 10.40. The company has a market cap of $18,870.00, a PE ratio of -49.82, a PEG ratio of 11.08 and a beta of 1.11.

Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The social networking company reported $0.10 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.07 by $0.03. Twitter had a negative net margin of 15.08% and a negative return on equity of 1.21%. The company had revenue of $590.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $586.22 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.09 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts forecast that Twitter Inc will post 0.02 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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About Twitter

Twitter, Inc offers products and services for users, advertisers, developers and data partners. The Company’s products and services include Twitter, Periscope, Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts and Promoted Trends. Its Twitter is a platform for public self-expression and conversation in real time. Periscope broadcasts can also be viewed through Twitter and on desktop or mobile Web browser.

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