Twitter (TWTR) Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Saturday morning.

According to Zacks, “Twitter is benefitting from strong growth in international market and video advertisements. 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. Growing adoption of video ad products like Video Website Cards & Video App Cards is a positive. Twitter’s focus on live video streaming is also bringing more ad dollars.  Shares have also outperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis. However, lack of revenue diversification is a major concern for Twitter. Moreover, growing competition for ad dollars from players like Facebook and Google is a major headwind. Besides, increasing investments on product development and costs related to international expansion will remain an overhang on profitability.”

A number of other analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Morgan Stanley raised shares of Twitter from an underweight rating to an equal weight rating and set a $29.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, April 17th. Pivotal Research reduced their target price on shares of Twitter from $21.00 to $20.00 and set a sell rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, April 2nd. Vetr raised shares of Twitter from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $35.33 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, March 26th. UBS Group raised shares of Twitter from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 25th. Finally, Macquarie raised shares of Twitter from a neutral rating to an outperform rating in a research report on Thursday, April 26th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-one have assigned a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. Twitter currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $28.15.

NYSE:TWTR opened at $43.67 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $32.87 billion, a PE ratio of 727.83, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 5.37 and a beta of 0.90. The company has a current ratio of 10.23, a quick ratio of 10.23 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.33. Twitter has a 1-year low of $15.67 and a 1-year high of $47.79.

Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, April 25th. The social networking company reported $0.16 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.01 by $0.15. The firm had revenue of $665.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $607.56 million. Twitter had a net margin of 0.57% and a return on equity of 2.81%. The company’s revenue was up 21.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.07 EPS. analysts forecast that Twitter will post 0.35 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, VP Matthew Derella sold 7,008 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, April 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.80, for a total value of $194,822.40. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CAO Robert Kaiden sold 3,676 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $30.71, for a total transaction of $112,889.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 3,330,984 shares of company stock worth $121,560,626 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 10.79% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in TWTR. Element Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in Twitter during the 4th quarter worth approximately $71,888,000. Summit Trail Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Twitter by 2,102.8% during the first quarter. Summit Trail Advisors LLC now owns 2,146,516 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $2,147,000 after buying an additional 2,049,071 shares during the last quarter. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership bought a new stake in shares of Twitter during the first quarter valued at approximately $54,168,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC bought a new stake in shares of Twitter during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $42,918,000. Finally, Millennium Management LLC raised its position in shares of Twitter by 719.1% during the fourth quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 2,017,309 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $48,436,000 after buying an additional 1,771,033 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 59.57% of the company’s stock.

About Twitter

Twitter, Inc operates as a platform for public self-expression and conversation in real time. The company offers various products and services, including Twitter that allows users to consume, create, distribute, and discover content; and Periscope, a mobile application that enables user to broadcast and watch video live with others.

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