Axiom analyst Victor Anthony highlights his disappointment with Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) after three quarters in a row, the online social networking titan has come short of revenue expectations, bringing in reported revenue of $602 million for second quarter earnings results, less than Anthony’s estimate of $604 million and the Street’s estimate of $607 million. The main issue arises in a gap of Twitter guidance versus analyst guidance. Whereas analyst expectations were shooting towards $678 million, Twitter indicates expectations for revenue significantly below in the range of $590 million to $610 million.
As a result, Anthony has slashed at estimates, valuation, as well as rating, downgrading TWTR shares from a Buy to a Hold, while lowering the price target from $18 to $16. Positively for the social media leader, adjusted earnings of $174.6 million did come in 15% ahead of both Anthony’s and the Street’s estimates, with $0.13 in earnings per share three cents over Anthony’s expectations and four cents above the Street’s expectation. Anthony explains that Twitter’s revenue has missed its mark as a result of lower than expected ad revenue in relation to off-networking.
Street points part of his disappointment to a continuous problem Twitter is encountering with weak user growth, coupled with the missed mark as far as revenue for advertising, and a sustained problem continuing into this third quarter, with Twitter guidance once again following below Anthony’s estimate for the third quarter.
Anthony explains, “These headwinds are expected to persist and there is very little visibility into the timing of O&O advertising growth re-acceleration. Twitter’s saving grace, and quite frankly its last stand, is live events/Periscope which should in theory drive up engagement and drive advertising to the platform (advertiser interest, we understand, is strong). We are optimistic on live events but we are unsure if this will be enough at this time to offset the current challenges. As a result we are moving to the sidelines.”
The main reason Anthony predicts shares will be able to stay afloat in light of these perpetual setbacks is the belief that Twitter could find itself in a merger deal in the near future, albeit the acquisition will be well after this year. Until then, for Anthony, this stock is on hold until acquisition has the potential to revive revenues once again.
According to TipRanks, Axiom analyst Victor Anthony is a five-star rated analyst, having earned a ranking of #42 out of 4,083 analysts. Anthony upholds a success rate of 68%, averaging 14% in profit for his annual returns.
TipRanks analytics exhibit TWTR as a Hold. Based on 28 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 5 rate a Buy, 21 maintain a Hold, and 2 issue a Sell. The average price target is $18.61, marking a 15% upside from where the stock is currently trading.