Axiom’s internet/media analyst Victor Anthony weighed in today with favorable reports on the micro-blogging giant Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and internet search giant Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO).
Today, Twitter announced Jack Dorsey, the Co-Founder and interim CEO, has been named the full-time CEO, but will no longer be Chairman. Adam Bain, Twitter’s President of Global Revenue & Partnerships, has been named COO. While this announcement was largely expected (although timing has been uncertain), the tone and optimism on the investors call were palpable.
In reaction, Victor Anthony reiterated a Buy rating on Twitter shares, with a $37 price target, which represents a potential upside of 34% from where the stock is currently trading.
Anthony wrote, “The decision to appoint Dorsey as permanent CEO was unanimous. Employee morale at Twitter was said to be very strong. We are positive on this announcement as we believe that it will instill stability at Twitter. As we stated in our upgrade note this morning, we are fine with Jack Dorsey keeping a dual role as CEO of Square to see the IPO through to completion. However, at some point in the future he would need to step away from Square to focus solely on Twitter. The pace of innovation at both companies is rapid and competition is intense, necessitating dedicated CEOs.”
“While there were no updates provided on 3Q trends, we think the appointment of Dorsey as CEO could be interpreted as a positive read on the quarter’s results,” the analyst added.
According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Victor Anthony has a total average return of 12.4% and a 55.2% success rate. Anthony has a -9.7% average return when recommending TWTR, and is ranked #132 out of 3764 analysts.
Out of the 43 analysts polled by TipRanks, 19 rate Twitter stock a Buy, 23 rate the stock a Hold and 1 recommends a Sell. With a return potential of 52%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $42.20.
The analyst reiterated a Buy rating on Yahoo! shares, while raising the price target to $41 (from $39), due to updates to share prices of Alibaba, Yahoo Japan and Hortonworks. In addition, the analyst has hosted an investor call with Amy Elliot, a tax specialist and Attorney at Tax Notes. She has followed Yahoo’s Alibaba spin-off closely and has authored numerous articles on this subject. The main takeaway is while there are risks of an IRS challenge post the spin-off, the risks are likely to be minimal.
Anthony wrote, “We assume Yahoo completes the Alibaba spin-off transaction as planned. Yahoo’s current market valuation assumes that the core business trades with a negative value, which is irrational in our view, and an inefficiency that investors should exploit. The core business continues to struggle but we do see options to increase shareholder value including: 1) share repurchases, 2) switching to Alphabet/Google search and 3) further headcount reductions. An increasing mix of premium, video, and native should help drive display growth. However, a return to industry-like growth will likely take several more years.”
According to TipRanks.com, analyst Victor Anthony has a 1.1% average return when recommending YHOO.
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