TWTR - Twitter, Inc.

NYSE - NYSE Delayed Price. Currency in USD
+0.27 (+0.87%)
At close: 4:01PM EST
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close30.96
Bid31.26 x 800
Ask31.31 x 900
Day's Range30.97 - 31.68
52 Week Range26.19 - 47.79
Avg. Volume22,412,611
Market Cap23.696B
Beta (3Y Monthly)-0.29
PE Ratio (TTM)20.02
EPS (TTM)1.56
Earnings DateApr 23, 2019
Forward Dividend & YieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-Dividend DateN/A
1y Target Est33.49
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
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  • InvestorPlaceyesterday

    Twitter Stock Still Has a Valuation Problem

    I've been skeptical about Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) stock for some time now. Admittedly, even though TWTR stock has been range-bound since late July, I've been too skeptical towards it, as Twitter stock has rallied over the last two years, roughly doubling during that period.As I wrote in December, the gains of Twitter stock have been deserved, at least to some extent. The company's total user base (as represented by MAUs, or monthly active users) hasn't grown much. But its engagement is up, as shown by increases in its DAUs (daily active users). And Twitter has become a better, more valuable partner for advertisers.Yet that success hasn't done much for TWTR stock of late. Its Q3 earnings, which were reported in October, sent Twitter stock soaring. Yet a 10% decline after the Q4 release earlier this month wiped out most of those gains. Twitter stock now actually is down 7.4% over the past twelve months.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 10 Hot Stocks Leading the Market's Blitz Higher There's one big reason why: valuation. TWTR looked hugely expensive at $45 in June, but even at $31, where it currently trades, it's not exactly cheap. And with Twitter's earnings growth likely to be muted in 2019, it's tough to see how concerns about its valuation will ease any time soon. The Valuation of TWTR StockTwitter stock still trades at about 17 times its enterprise value-EBITDA ratio. After backing out close to $5 per share of net cash, TWTR trades at about 30 times analysts' 2019 earnings-per-share consensus of 89 cents. (Those estimates may come down as analysts adjust their models.)Neither of those metrics is cheap. Based on both of the above criteria, Twitter is more expensive than Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), which continues to grow faster. It's more expensive than Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL,GOOG), whose revenue is also rising faster than that of TWTR. The 30 times forward P/E multiple of Twitter stock is above the S&P 500's average valuation.At the very least, the valuation of Twitter stock suggests either that Twitter will grow for years or that Twitter will be sold. But an acquisition still seems unlikely: TWTR was clearly on the auction block in 2016, only to see Alphabet, Disney (NYSE:DIS), and (NYSE:CRM) all pass on a deal.And so, TWTR has to grow to justify the valuation of TWTR stock. Even though Twitter's business has improved, that seems like a lot to ask after the company's Q4 report. How Twitter Stock Can Move HigherFrom a broad standpoint, there are three ways that Twitter's earnings can increase. It can attract more users. It can make more money from its users. Or it can lower costs as a percentage of its revenue, either by increasing its revenue more quickly or by cutting its costs.Again, Twitter has had some success. What the company now calls mDAU (monetizable daily active usage) rose 9% year-over-year in Q4, and about 10% for the full year. Monthly active users (which Twitter no longer will disclose ) declined, in part due to the removal of bots and fake accounts. The two figures show that the users who visit Twitter are using it more often.But the MAU figure also highlights a key problem: Twitter isn't attracting users who weren't previously familiar with the service. That alone suggests a potential headwind to growth.On the revenue per user front, Twitter is also making progress. Its Q4 revenue rose 24%, driven by the 9% increase of mDAU. The shift to video - a strategy of which I admittedly was highly skeptical - is attracting advertisers and increasing the company's revenue.But Twitter delivered relatively disappointing Q1 guidance. Its Q1 revenue guidance of $715-$765 million represents an increase of 7.5%-16.5%, slower growth than the company has posted in recent quarters. It looks as if the improvements in the monetization of its users are fading, another reason to believe that the company's overall revenue growth is going to decelerate. High Spending Will Dent Twitter's EarningsMeanwhile, Twitter's costs are set to move higher, both on an absolute basis and as a percentage of its revenue. Specifically, TWTR expects its GAAP and non-GAAP operating expenses to rise 20% in 2019.That means its costs likely are going to rise faster than its revenue will. The higher spending is being partly caused by Twitter's efforts to improve its IT security and users' experience.As a result, Twitter's Q4 earnings look a bit like the Q2 report that caused Facebook stock to plunge in July. Facebook's revenue growth slowed, and it warned that it would have to spend a great deal more money to protect its platform. Consequently, FB stock lost the most money in a single day in stock-market history.The selloff of TWTR stock obviously wasn't nearly as bad. Nor should it have been; Twitter's spending isn't spiking to anywhere near the same extent as Facebook's did.But it's worth noting that Facebook stock still trades below where it did after that plunge. And while the stories of the two stocks aren't identical, the results could be similar. Twitter stock still is pricing in quite a bit of earnings growth. The company is saying that that growth isn't coming, at least in 2019. That divergence could keep on a lid on TWTR stock for quite some time.As of this writing, Vince Martin has no positions in any securities mentioned. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * Should You Buy, Sell, Or Hold These 7 Medical Cannabis Stocks? * 7 Strong Buy Stocks With Over 20% Upside * 7 Reasons Stock Buybacks Should Be Illegal Compare Brokers The post Twitter Stock Still Has a Valuation Problem appeared first on InvestorPlace.

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