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.

Twitter gives peace a chance in patent wars

April 19, 2012

The social network will allow engineer-inventors to veto lawsuits against alleged infringers. That’s a model for curbing the expensive legal salvos that Apple, Microsoft and others lob just to slow each other down. If the rest of tech one day follows, innovation could benefit.

Privacy is the Person of Last Year

December 15, 2010

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, has been crowned Person of the Year by Time magazine. WikiLeaks boss Julian Assange, meanwhile, topped the associated reader poll. Uncommon levels of self-belief, and superior coding abilities, aren’t the only parallels between the two men. Both are leading the technological assault on privacy.

Maybe Twitter should Google its IPO

August 15, 2013

In anticipation of the $10 bln social network going public, the search engine’s 2004 example is worth considering. Google catered to individual investors with an auction-style sale. Though flawed, the approach would be a solid one for Twitter, especially after Facebook’s debacle.

Twitter takes small step to becoming a business

April 14, 2010

Twitter is taking a small step to becoming a real business. The microblogging site for the attention deficit disordered is carefully rolling out advertising. It's a sensible first step in Twitter's need to generate revenue without annoying users. But more are needed.

Twitter prospectus edits will be worth following

September 18, 2013

New U.S. rules mean there’s scarcely 140 characters so far about the micro-messaging service’s IPO. When changes are made public, it will repay investors to comb SEC modifications for red flags. On the checklist will be funny financial metrics and multiple share classes.

Solo stars Goldman and Morgan Stanley share stage

October 3, 2013

Relationship banking of yore meant the two banks slugged it out for exclusive assignments. Now, in M&A as well as IPOs like Twitter’s, they work next to each other more often than with almost any other peers. Clients most of all are forcing Wall Street’s biggest rivalry to fade.