Tag Archives: Twitter INC

Twitter Stock Continues to Slide

Twitter’s stock price continued a recent decline on Wednesday, closing down 3.5 percent to $59.29 after an analyst lowered the short messaging service’s rating on concerns that its stock price is too high.

Shares of Twitter Inc. surged 53 percent in December as investors disregarded the company’s lukewarm early-November initial public offering. But the company’s soaring stock price has given analysts pause, even as they remain upbeat about Twitter’s business model.

Youssef Squali of Cantor Fitzgerald sees big things ahead for Twitter, but says the December surge was unwarranted. At least two other analysts have expressed similar concerns in recent weeks. Squali lowered his rating on Twitter’s stock to “Sell” from “Hold” on Wednesday, calling the stock’s price “excessive.” He thinks a fair value for the stock is $32.

Twitter, Squali says, “remains one of the fastest-growing companies” and one of the few key players among social Internet companies, but considering its current value he prefers Facebook and Google as investments.

San Francisco-based Twitter went public nine weeks ago with an IPO price of $26. The stock’s current price is still more than double its IPO price but down 14 percent for the week.


Twitter shares touch new high, sail past $52

By Gerry Shih

SAN FRANCISCO Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:47pm EST

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The Twitter symbol is displayed at the post where the stock is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, November 15, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The Twitter symbol is displayed at the post where the stock is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, November 15, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) – Investors piled into Twitter Inc for the second straight day, lifting its shares to more than $52 and setting a new intraday high on Tuesday even in the absence of any significant announcements from the social media debutante.

Read more – > http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/10/us-twitter-shares-idUSBRE9B810Y20131210


Twitter hires Google executive as head of retail: report

A Twitter logo made from Californian license plates is shown at the company's headquarters in San Francisco



(Reuters) – Twitter Inc has hired an advertisingexecutive from Google Inc to head its retail division, as the online messaging company ramps up hiring and works to expand itsbusiness ahead of an initial public offering, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

J.J. Hirschle, who directed media and entertainment advertising at Google, will be responsible for the team selling advertising products to retail companies, the agency said, citing Will Stickney, a spokesman for Twitter. (link.reuters.com/jyn83v)

Hirschle is to start on October 28, the same day Twitter is expected to kick off its investor roadshow where it will pitch its offering to Wall Street before shares start trading in mid-November.


Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/17/net-us-twitter-management-idUSBRE99G04620131017


Twitter pays engineer $10 million as Silicon Valley tussles for talent

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

(Reuters) – Among Twitter Inc’s highest-paid executives, Christopher Fry‘s name stands out.

The senior vice president of engineering raked in $10.3 million last year, just behind Twitter Chief Executive Dick Costolo‘s $11.5 million, according to Twitter’s IPO documents. That is more than the paychecks of executives such as Chief Technology Officer Adam Messinger, Chief Financial Officer Mike Gupta and Chief Operating Officer Ali Rowghani.

Welcome to Silicon Valley, where a shortage of top engineering talent amid an explosion of venture capital-backed start-ups is inflating paychecks.

“The number of A-players in Silicon Valley hasn’t grown,” said Iain Grant, a recruiter at Riviera Partners, which specializes in placing engineers at venture-capital backed start-ups. “But the demand for them has gone through the roof.”

Stories abound about the lengths to which employers will go to attract engineering talent – in addition to the free cafeterias, laundry services and shuttle buses that the Googles and Facebooks of the world are already famous for.


Read more : http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/13/net-us-siliconvalley-engineers-twitter-idUSBRE99C03R20131013




Twitter gets ‘buy’ rating even before listing

The following excerpt is from Reuters!

The Twitter logo is shown at the company's headquarters in San Francisco

(Reuters) – Twitter Inc’s share price could almost double in its first year as a listed company, a brokerage firm said, issuing a “buy” rating on the stock even before the online messaging service goes public.

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Robert Peck, the first to rate the stock, suggested Twitter could float at $28-$30 per share, and said it could reach $50 within a year.

Twitter allows its users to post a maximum of 140 character messages called “tweets” to share their personal thoughts and links to content with the public and their friends, or to promote businesses.

“It is important for investors to look at Twitter beyond just a 140 character text,” Peck wrote in a 76-page note.

Twitter’s planned IPO is one of the most anticipated since Facebook Inc’s coming-out party in June 2012. Despite posting big losses over the last three years, Twitter hopes to woo investors with its advertisement revenue growth.


Coffee cups with Google logos are seen at the new Google office in Toronto

Google launches streaming music service ahead of Apple

Coffee cups with Google logos are seen at the new Google office in Toronto

(Reuters) – Google Inc launched a music service on Wednesday that allows users to listen to unlimited songs for $9.99 a month, challenging smaller companies like Pandora and Spotify in the market for streaming music.

With its new service, announced at its annual developers’ conference in San Francisco, Google has adopted the streaming music business model ahead of rival Apple Inc, which pioneered online music purchases with iTunes.

Google’s “All Access” service lets users customize song selections from 22 genres, ranging from Jazz to Indie music, stream individual playlists, or listen to a curated, radio-like stream that can be tweaked. It will be launched for U.S. users first, before being rolled out to several other countries.

Google unveiled a string of improvements to other services, including new mapping features and a voice-activated search, at the conference. The focus was on giving more options to users of mobile devices using its Android software, the operating system that now runs three out of every four smartphones sold.

Shares of Google, the world’s largest Internet search company, jumped more than 3 percent while Pandora Media Inc shares were down more than 1 percent on Wednesday afternoon.

Google’s new music service amps up the competition in the nascent market for subscription-based, streaming music. Amazon.com Inc and Apple are among the Silicon Valley powerhouses sounding out top recording industry executives, according to sources with knowledge of talks.

Pandora is spending freely and racking up losses to expand globally. Even social media stalwarts Facebook and Twitter are jumping onto the streaming-music bandwagon.

All these companies see a viable music streaming and subscription service as crucial to growing their presence in an exploding mobile environment. For Google and Apple, it is critical in ensuring users remain loyal to their mobile products.

With a music service, Google further “locks” consumers into its sphere of products and services, said Chris Silva, an analyst with Altimeter Group.

“They’re trying to sell an ecosystem,” he said. “The more things I’m doing, the more things that tie me to Google services.”

At $9.99 a month, Google’s service is costlier than the $3.99 required for Pandora, but on par with Spotify.

The music service features millions of tracks from Universal Music, Sony Entertainment Group and Warner Music Group, as well as from thousands of independent labels, according to a Google spokeswoman.

Some analysts said the new service allowed Google to catch-up to offerings from the likes of Spotify, but did not offer anything unique. Forrester analyst James McQuivey said combining the service with video or game content might have made it stand out.

“You don’t dismiss Apple, you don’t dismiss anyone. But that is not the point,” said Rich Tullo, an analyst at Albert Fried & Co. “Pandora is the market share leader in the space and their platform is so disruptive — it’s very hard to disrupt them. When you have 70 million people use it – they are the disruptors.”


A procession of Google executives described and showed off a litany of new features and software updates at the annual “I/O” developers’ conference, from picture touch-ups on Google+ and re-designed Maps that spot when a user is walking or driving, to Star Trek-like voice-activated search that understands a users’ sentences and figures out what he or she is looking for.

“We haven’t seen this rate of change in computing for a long time — probably not since the birth of personal computing,” said CEO Larry Page, who began his address reflecting upon a significant moment in his life, when his father got him into a robotic science fair.

“We’re really only at 1 percent of what’s possible,” said Page, whose on-stage appearance came a day after he acknowledged suffering from a rare nerve problem affecting his vocal cords. The problem, which affects his breathing and makes it difficult for him to speak at length, sidelined Page from public speaking engagements last summer, though Page spoke for 45 minutes on stage on Wednesday.

Decrying a “negativity” in the technology industry which he said impedes progress, Page singled out competitors Microsoft Corp and Oracle Corp, criticizing the companies for not being sufficiently collaborative with Google and other companies. Google was sued by Oracle last year, and companies affiliated with Microsoft have complained about Google’s practices to European antitrust regulators.

“Most important things are not zero sum,” Page said.


The conference comes as Google’s Android software has become the most popular operating system in both smartphones and tablet PCs. Executives said Wednesday that some 900 million smartphones and tablets running Google Android software had been activated since the platform’s inception in 2010

Google’s popular mapping service, a mainstay of Android devices, features tighter integration with reviews off Zagat, the popular dining-reviews brand that Google bought last year. It also sports more pictures from inside important buildings, sourced from user-uploaded photos. It can now even display the earth realistically as viewed from outer space, something Page said he personally requested.

Shares in Yelp Inc, which like Zagat is built off users’ personal reviews, slid 3.8 percent to $29.80 in the afternoon.

Conspicuously absent from the more than three-hour opening keynote session was any mention of Google Glass, the wearable computing device that the company began distributing to a limited set of early users and developers last month.

The futuristic-looking device has elicited admiration from many technology-lovers, but some have questioned whether the stamp-sized electronic screen mounted on eyeglass frames will appeal to mainstream consumers.

While many enthusiastic attendees and Google staffers strolled about the conference center sporting the Glass devices, executives spent little time discussing it on stage.

Google missed an opportunity to “show that they think they’re onto something big,” said Forrester’s McQuivey.

(With additional reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York; Editing by David Gregorio, Bernadette Baum and Bob Burgdorfer)


Will Twitter’s new #Music app boost the recording industry?

Twitter Inc. says its new music service helps users discover songs and artists.


But the music industry isn’t sure it’s something to sing about just yet.

The #Music app recommends songs based on the artists Twitter users follow. It also shows what tracks friends are tweeting about. And it lets users browse songs that are popular or up-and-coming on the service. The user can preview the tracks from iTunes or subscribe to Spotify or Rdio to listen to full-length versions of the suggested songs.

The highly anticipated service, which rolled out Thursday online and to iPhone users in the App Store, is part of the San Francisco company’s efforts to expand beyond chatter and photos into other media to broaden its appeal to its more than 200 million monthly users. Just like Facebook Inc. before it, Twitter launched its music service without striking deals directly with music companies. Instead, Twitter piggybacked on existing deals the recording labels have in place with subscription music services.

Twitter was already one of the Internet’s most popular spots for artists to reach their fans and get a following for their music. Eight of the top 10 most-followed people on Twitter are artists.

Getting big play on social media is crucial for the music industry. The first to be hard hit by the digital revolution, the industry is now relying on the Internet to help engineer its recovery.

Though physical sales still account for much of the industry’s global revenue, those numbers continue to fall. And in the U.S., more than half of the industry’s revenues last year came through digital channels: music downloads, subscription services and advertising revenue, according to the Recording Industry Assn. of America.

Global sales rose last year for the first time since 1999, when the launch of the Napster file-sharing service began to remake the industry. The increase — 0.3% — was tiny and the total revenue of $16.5 billion was nowhere near the $38 billion the industry claimed in its heyday. But the figures the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry released in February were the first encouraging signs of growth.

The growth in digital revenue has been fanned by services that let listeners choose from a vast library of music, instead of buying individual songs or downloads. Revenues are flowing in from subscription services such as Spotify, streaming radio services like Pandora and other offerings, such as YouTube and music video service Vevo, which are supported by advertising.

The explosion in smartphones — the third most popular device on which to listen to music, after personal computers and stereo systems — is also fueling the comeback. The ease of owning or streaming music legally has also begun to discourage piracy, although about a third of Internet users still frequent websites that peddle unlicensed music.

Last week, Twitter telegraphed to the world that it planned to get into the music recommendation business when it bought music recommendation and streaming service We Are Hunted, which shut down its operation. Twitter began by testing the service with celebrities such as Ryan Seacrest, Blake Shelton, Ne-Yo and Moby who praised it on Twitter. Wiz Khalifa last week tweeted: “Man this new Twitter music app is insane!”

“Twitter and music go great together. People share and discover new songs and albums every day. Many of the most-followed accounts on Twitter are musicians, and half of all users follow at least one musician,” Stephen Philips, founder of We Are Hunted, wrote in a Twitter blog post.

The new music service could help the industry capture musical trends and figure out what their fans are listening to — and what they are likely to listen to in the future.

Knowing how many users follow musicians, which musicians they follow and how many music links they click on could give the industry what Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey calls a “data trail.”

Twitter “should generate a lot of data about tastes, preferences, who is listening to what, when they listen, how long, frequency, etc.,” Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said.

Other subscription services are interested in partnering with Twitter as well, according to one industry observer who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Some analysts are skeptical that Twitter Music represents a major step forward for the music industry.

“The idea that just because it’s Twitter, it’s middle-America mainstream, that’s a little mistaken,” said Russ Crupnick, NPD Group’s senior vice president of industry analysis.

Twitter Music will have limited reach: Only 15% of U.S. households use the social network to communicate, Crupnick said. Fewer still have a Spotify account (5%) or have even heard of Rdio (2%).

Crupnick found that, although any new offering that helps to promote the industry ultimately is beneficial, the service sets up too many barriers — “hamster-wheel stuff” — that stand in the way of a music aficionado discovering new music or artists.

“It’s missing the boat for people who used to discover things on the radio but now are lost,” Crupnick said.

The bigger game changer, Crupnick said, would be if radio giant Clear Channel offered expanded playlists, introduced more new artists and more carefully curated its selections.

Analysts say the new service should benefit Twitter by increasing the amount of time users spend there so the company has more opportunities to show ads to users. Twitter is expected to more than double its advertising revenue this year to $583 million, from $283 million last year.

Twitter does not disclose its financial performance but is widely believed to be gearing up for an initial public stock offering this year or next. Chief Executive Dick Costolo has downplayed those expectations, saying the company has raised more than enough money to remain private for the foreseeable future.

(VIA. Los Angeles Times)