Twitter shares surged after the company soundly beat Wall Street’s estimates and raised its year-end guidance. But is the stock, which is still down 27 percent for the year, now a buy?
CEO Dick Costolo, appearing Tuesday on CNBC’s “Closing Bell,” couldn’t help but chirp Twitter’s latest results. “We had a great quarter across the board,” Costolo said.
He noted that revenue was up 124 percent and monthly active users increased by 16 million, to 271 million. He said the number of new users was the highest in five quarters.
“So I think it was a combination of things across the company that have really come together for us,” Costolo said.
Some analysts have pointed to soccer’s quadrennial World Cup as being the real cause behind Twitter’s boost in users and activity.
But Steve Cortes, founder of Veracruz TJM, is bullish on the stock for other reasons even though it is only now near its closing price on IPO day.
“I am believer in Twitter now,” he said. “I don’t think this is just a World Cup phenomenon. I think that it is broader than that. We are seeing Twitter become almost a global town hall, a global living room, a global TV network, all of the above. It is truly where the world goes where it wants to talk about something.”
What Cortes likes most about Twitter’s latest report is its top line growth. He said Twitter’s MoPub mobile ad service, which it purchased in September for $350 million, “has really been monetized in a terrific way.”
“The ad revenue per view has literally doubled year over year. That to me is the most significant part of this earnings report and it deserves this part of a rally and more,” he said.
“The fact that they made a profit when the Street expected a loss, and the fact that advertising revenues have doubled per view, that tells me that there [is] some real wind behind the sail,” Cortes added.
(See: CNBC's Social Media coverage)
Richard Ross, global technical strategist at Auerbach Grayson, is not so sure investors should jump into the Twitter just yet.
“This is clearly a stock that’s trying to find itself,” the “Talking Numbers” contributor said. “In fact, Twitter themselves have a hard time getting a handle on the number of users and how to monetize those users, and traders are having an even harder time trying to figure out how to monetize Twitter.”
From a technicals perspective, Ross sees the stock as having recently broken above a downtrend that began when it peaked at $74.73 on Dec. 26. Wednesday’s spike pushed shares to its 150-day moving average, which Ross believes coincides with a resistance level of $47 per share.
“This is a level that traders are focusing on,” Ross said. “Keep in mind, very limited trading history here. The stock hasn’t even been public for a year. So it’s going to have to find itself in terms of support, resistance, trends and on an operating basis.”
Ross said he’s neutral on Twitter’s stock. “I wouldn’t chase it as a buyer,” he said. “If you like the story, you can buy some Twitter here. Don’t short it—too much short interest, too volatile right now. Once again, very low conviction one way or another.”
To see the full discussion on Twitter, with Cortes on the fundamentals and Ross on the technicals, watch the above video.