Twitter Inventory: Wait For A Higher Entry Value (NYSE:TWTR)

Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) has had a heck of a run since I really useful it at $32. With the refill almost 110% from that time, I’ve bought and will likely be searching for a a lot decrease entry worth earlier than reinvesting.

In my unique article, I recognized 4 main causes for purchasing. Each cause I had for my unique buy already has occurred. With the inventory greater than doubling, expectations are actually set a lot larger. The margin of security I imagine existed at $32/share is simply not anyplace close to as sturdy at $67/share.

Causes I lastly invested – and the place we are actually.

1. Weak restoration (January to late Might) in comparison with Fb and Google

Then: Twitter lagged friends Fb (FB) and Google (GOOG) (GOOGL) because the market began recovering – we will see what occurred since.

Information by YCharts

Now: Twitter has outperformed Fb and Google considerably over the previous yr. I fear about this imply reverting again towards that group, particularly since I think about a lot of the latest positive aspects to be sentiment pushed.

2. “Partnership” with Silver Lake and Elliott Administration

Then: In early March, as a part of a “partnership” that included board seats, Elliott Administration and Silver Lake invested $1 billion in Twitter 0.375% convertible debt due 2025, with a $41.50 preliminary conversion worth. The worth was 21% above the place Twitter traded when the deal closed. As a part of this, Twitter agreed to repurchase $2 billion of its personal inventory. At Twitter’s then market capitalization of $25 billion, this $2 billion represented 8% of the excellent shares. I felt these had been each sturdy catalysts for Silver Lake and Elliott to advocate for change and transfer shares larger.

Now: The Silver Lake and Elliott funding has been a house run. On the conversion charge of 24 shares per $1,000 in principal, Silver Lake is up 70% on their funding. They’ll hedge all or a portion of this winner in the event that they select. In any case, I imagine the probability that they agitate for a significant shakeup that features a new full-time CEO is drastically lowered. Twitter did repurchase $245 million of frequent inventory in 2020, however issued nearly double that in inventory based mostly compensation.

3. Subsequent 2 Quarters (Q2-20 and Q3-20) Outcomes May Be Upside Catalysts

Then: I predicted Q2 would present a big enhance in lively customers, adopted by a big enhance in promoting spend in Q3. In Q2, Twitter certainly confirmed an enormous leap in lively customers and the inventory rose, although advert gross sales had been weak, and in Q3 consumer development was extra muted by promoting spend was up 15% yr over yr (but the inventory fell arduous – go determine).

Now: What I believed was going to be an enormous tailwind final yr with COVID lockdowns driving folks and spend on-line has the potential for being a headwind this yr. With the election completed and COVID-19 lockdowns lastly ending, I do not see what’s going to drive further consumer development in 2021.

4. Potential Acquisition

Then: At a $25 billion valuation, I imagine Twitter was acquisition candidate, even with a excessive 50%-plus acquisition premium.

Now: At a $55-$60 billion valuation, the likelihood of one other firm buying Twitter is way decrease.

Twitter 2020 Outcomes

Twitter This autumn Outcomes had been good as anticipated, however the steerage disillusioned me. 2020 full-year income was $3.72 billion, up simply 7% in comparison with 2019 and badly lagging rivals. Fb income grew 22%, Google grew 12.7%, Snap (SNAP) grew income 62%, Pinterest (PINS) grew 76%.

To offer an thought on simply how far behind Twitter is – Fb grew income by $15.3 billion simply between 2019 and 2020. Fb’s one-year income development was 4 instances as a lot as Twitter complete income.

Full-year bills totaled $3.69 billion, up 19% over 2019. Included in it is a one-time $150 million FTC settlement. Subtracting this out, prices are nonetheless up 15% over 2019. In a yr the place most corporations streamlined Twitter nonetheless discovered a strategy to develop bills sooner than income.

For Q1 2021, Twitter is guiding to income of $940M-$1.04B, and GAAP working earnings between -$50M and breakeven. They’re projecting to develop headcount by greater than 20% “particularly in engineering, product, design, and analysis” and it expects complete prices and bills to develop 25% or extra.

Inventory-Based mostly Compensation

Inventory-based compensation expense elevated 25% in 2020, and Twitter is guiding to a different 11-21% enhance in 2021 ($525-575 million).

For 2020, they spent 13% of income on inventory based mostly compensation. I believe this a ridiculous degree of inventory compensation for a corporation that has chronically underperformed.


I am nonetheless a fan of Twitter as a consumer and imagine it has potential. However the lack of innovation, failed rollouts of easy me-too options like Fleets, aggressive encroachment from corporations like Substack, uncontrolled bills and the dearth of management from a component time CEO are nonetheless main negatives for me as an investor.

Shares jumped 12% lately when Twitter set a objective to double income by the tip of 2023. They detailed numerous these methods in a latest investor occasion. They’re saying the fitting issues, however now they should execute, one thing they haven’t been identified for.

ChartInformation by YCharts

With many tailwinds ending in 2021 and the refill sharply, I am on the sidelines for now. I believe the percentages of Twitter retracing again towards Fb and Google’s EV/Income a number of is extra doubtless than additional share worth appreciation to return according to Pinterest and Snap.

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