Research group Citron is gaining attention after publishing a report called “Twitter has become the Harvey Weinstein of Social Media – New Price Target — $20.” The report cites an Amnesty International Study which shows data suggesting Twitter (TWTR) is “an abuser of human rights and has become a place that is “toxic” for women.” The report also states women on Twitter are abused every 30 seconds.
Tech expert and Seeking Alpha blogger Stone Fox Capital (SFC) responds to Citron, in which he slams the research for being outdated and suggests the report is an inaccurate representation of how things currently stand in the market when it comes to Twitter.
SFC believes that since Twitter has spent all of 2018 improving the health of its platform, the stock is in better shape. He recommends buying “on any weakness.” (To watch SFC’s track record, click here)
SFC is convinced Citron Research’s price target of $20 isn’t likely to be reached. SFC refers to some of the research company’s previous calls that did not pan out accurately, citing Citron’s last call for Twitter to hit $52. The stock ended up only crossing $36.
More than just the blogger’s prediction that Twitter’s share price will not actually hit Citron’s price target, SFC says the big report, which surveyed millions of tweets and 778 journalists and politicians between the U.K. and U.S., was taken in 2017, making the statistics outdated. SFC explains that though the claims are founded — with substantial online abuse and violence against women, there are issues that undercut the recent publication of the short report: “The problem with the report is that it’s based on crowdsourced work from 6,500 digital volunteers called the Troll Patrol. A group naturally likely to be more sensitive to normal banter between individuals that one might not actually find abusive. The findings weren’t as damaging as one might expect from data going back to 2017. The Troll Patrol found that only approximately 1% of mentions included abusive content. Problematic content was up to nearly 9% for black women, but some of the other groups weren’t as bad at around 5%,” the blogger explains.
SFC makes another important point: the report doesn’t cover how Twitter is doing post-2017 research. The research doesn’t cover whether or not the social media site has bettered itself. The blogger suggests abusive tweets might be a thing of the past, as daily average users are up this year in comparison to last. Additionally, revenues are surging in 2018 as well.
SFC continues: “Regardless, the issue here is that Twitter has spent 2018 improving the health of the platform by blocking abusive tweeters. Threats of violence and abuse shouldn’t be tolerated on the platform and the social media company already has implemented tools to remove abusive and hateful accounts.[…] In addition, Twitter stepped up their efforts to block accounts before people even start tweeting. Twitter has challenged about 40 million accounts per month to start the year as their detection systems improve to stop spammy and malicious accounts before ever tweeting.”
Analysts on Wall Street seem undecided about Twitter stock. TipRanks analytics show out of 21 analysts, 6 are bullish, 12 are sidelined and 3 are bearish on the stock. With a consensus price target of $34.71, there’s a potential upside of 31%. (See TWTR’s price targets and analyst ratings on TipRanks)