Has the Twitter bird flown emerging markets?
A new report by New York-based research firm eMarketer says that the number of Twitter users in the Asia-Pacific region has surpassed users in North America and Western Europe despite China's ban on the microblogging site. On its website, eMarketer wrote:
"In 2014, the Asia-Pacific region will account for 32.8% of all Twitter users, compared with 23.7% in North America, eMarketer estimates, and by 2018, Asia-Pacific will more than double North America’s share, breaking the 40% mark in terms of worldwide market share. If China is on the Twitter map by that point, that share is likely to be significantly higher. In 2018, we project, Twitter will grow 10.7% to reach nearly 400 million users globally."
Meanwhile, Twitter investors have seen the company's stock head in one direction: south. After peaking near $75 per share in December – just a month after its IPO – the stock has been cut down by more than half to $30.51 as of Tuesday.
"There are no signs of a reversal in trends that are imminent," said Richard Ross, global technical strategist at Auerbach Grayson. It "doesn't mean it can't happen. But right now, there is nothing in the chart that would lead me to believe that you want to be a buyer of Twitter just yet."
Instead, Ross believes the stock's IPO price at $26 per share as the next logical support price. He sees the stock as having traveled in a downward-sloping support line since its December highs. After shares dropped several dollars on May 6 on the heels of Twitter's earnings report, that supporting trend line became resistance.
"I would not buy the stock below that trend line," said Ross, a "Talking Numbers" contributor. "Until we can get back above the trendline [and] back above that 50-day moving average, I wouldn't touch the stock here."
But, all may not be lost for Twitter if its stock behaves like that of another social media behemoth. "Facebook broke below its IPO price," notes Ross. "So, you've got to wait here on Twitter."
Facebook traded its first 15 months below its $38 per share IPO level. Two years after going public, Facebook is now more than 60 percent above its initial deal price.
According to Gina Sanchez, founder of Chantico Global, Twitter is going through the typical stages of a newly public company.
"Every IPO stock goes through four distinct phases post IPO: euphoria, pessimism, optimismand then realism," said Sanchez, a CNBC contributor. "We are clearly in the pessimism stage, where everybody is doubting whether or not this was a good buy."
[Editor’s Note: A guest appearing in this segment failed to attribute some of her comments. We regret the ommission. The source material for those comments can be found here.]
However, those doubts may not be unfounded. "The problem in the tech space is that the cycle is now incredibly fast," Sanchez said. "One day, you're the new great thing and the next day, you're yesterday's news and you're done. That's the problem that Twitter seems to be facing."
And, although Twitter has some opportunities ahead of it, it still has a big obstacle.
"Growth in emerging markets is going to help Twitter," concludes Sanchez. "They need to continue to grow their user base but what they're having trouble doing is monetizing that. That's the bigger problem which is the business model."
To see the full discussion on Twitter, with Ross on the technicals and Sanchez on the fundamentals, watch the above video.
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