Social media giant Twitter Inc (NASDAQ:TWTR) confirmed a deal with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) back in May in enables real-time tweets to appear in related mobile search results. Twitter agreed to the deal in hopes of increasing its monthly average users (MAU). Google announced that tweets would start appearing in desktop searches in August.
However, when Twitter posted its second quarter 2015 earnings results in July, the company’s inability to increase its user base quickly became apparent. Consequently, Twitter fell 18% the following day.
On a positive note, Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Graham believes Twitter’s partnership with Google “has since improved” since the partnership launched in May. The analyst, who maintained a Buy rating on Twitter but lowered his price target from $45 to $40 on September 2, believes the partnership will help “expand the number of visitors to the Twitter properties” by “relying on strong conversion to turn visitors into MAUs.”
Graham notes that Google “announced that real-time Tweets would be included in desktop search results as well as mobile” beginning last month, after initially agreeing to the deal in May. “Additionally, English speaking international regions would also have the Tweets show up in mobile and desktop Google results.”
He also notes that since the launch of the partnership, “the percent of mobile search queries in the U.S. that surface Tweets improved from 54% to 91%.” However, desktop “penetration is ramping faster than mobile,” as U.S. search queries “already display Tweets 94% of the time.” Graham adds, “though desktop Google results have lower click-through rates than mobile, Tweets are showing up higher.”
To be clear, Graham “acknowledge[d] the greater risk in the stock associated with lack of MAU visibility,” but believes “the Google integration is a step in the right direction.”
On average, Michael Graham has a 51% success rate recommending stocks and a +7.7% average return per recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark.
Out of 26 analysts polled by TipRanks who have rated Twitter in the past three months, 12 are bullish on Twitter and 14 are neutral. The average 12-month price target on the company is $41.29, marking a 48.42% potential upside from where shares last closed.