Breakingviews

Twitter’s permanent revolution invites interlopers

January 25, 2016

Four top executives have stepped down, according to CEO Jack Dorsey, via a tweet. Management turmoil hasn’t done any favors for the $12 bln media business. With the stock below its IPO price and Dorsey also running Square, a takeover could spare Twitter a fate like Yahoo’s.

Top trades of 2016: Clinton, Mayer, Isis and Uber

December 18, 2015

A survey of Breakingviews readers suggests that a year from now, the U.S. will have its first female president and Yahoo’s CEO may be free to give her a hand. Uber’s valuation will stall, as worries about Islamic State accelerate. In other news, Twitter hasn’t made us any happier.

Twitter CEO’s creative giveback is promising start

October 23, 2015

Jack Dorsey is donating a third of his stake in the $20 bln microblogging site, or about $200 mln worth, to the employee compensation pool. The move should engender some needed loyalty after his decision to moonlight as CEO of Square. Twitter could use more such bold ideas.

Square float is missing three sides

October 15, 2015

The U.S. payments upstart’s IPO narrative is based on growth, but it’s missing three other critical storylines. It’s losing money. Governance is compromised, with dual-class stock and a part-time CEO in Jack Dorsey. And the company’s allies may have incentives to become rivals.

Twitter patches broken wing with chairman choice

October 14, 2015

Putting Google’s Omid Kordestani atop the board kills two birds with one appointment. It supplements Jack Dorsey’s stretched position as a two-timing CEO and adds a much-needed money man to survey a foundering business model. Ideally, they’d reverse the roles completely.

New Twitter CEO flaps with one wing behind back

October 5, 2015

Co-founder Jack Dorsey is now the micro-blogging site’s permanent boss. But he also leads payments service Square, which is considering an IPO later this year. Perhaps he can succeed at these two very demanding jobs. Twitter, though, has saddled its investors with a risky gamble.

Sky-high valuations no match for earnings reality

October 28, 2014

Investors knocked more than 10 pct, or well over $3 bln, off Twitter’s worth despite sales doubling. Blame the company’s overdone value multiples. Similar knocks to Amazon, Netflix, Pandora, Chipotle and Yelp show the danger when quarterly numbers can’t match a bullish story.

Twitter free-speech chirps carry overtone of risk

October 9, 2014

After its UK super-injunction tiff, the microblog is fighting to reveal secret U.S. demands for data. The two cases show that firms have power to resist being muzzled – or forced to speak. That’s a check on judicial and government overreach, but it could undermine regulation.

Facebook is near-universal buyer in virtual world

June 6, 2014

The $160 bln website’s users are worth nearly $130 each. WhatsApp, at $19 bln or $42 per user, was a relative steal. Users of Twitter and Japan’s Line look cheap, too. Clamp on an Oculus Rift and there’s a case for Mark Zuckerberg to buy most of the planet’s social and chat apps.

Alwaleed pushes the limits with edgy Twitter stake

December 19, 2011

Even though Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is known as a bold investor, his $300 mln stake in the regime-usurping social network is decisively edgy. The Saudi royal family member increases his cool factor, but supporting unregulated speech might not sit well in the kingdom.