Reformed twitterer and hedge fund manager Doug Kass now says that he would be willing to pay $32.50 for Twitter stocks, expecting that the share price will quickly double following the company’s IPO set for next month, Steven Russolillo for The Wall Street Journal reports.
Kass was an avid Twitter user until he quit the service in July, saying that it was useless and full of ‘haters’. He returned earlier this month, and now believes that it’s about to be one of the most attractive stocks available.
Twitter’s current monopolistic market position
“Given the lack of competition in its space, Twitter’s current monopolistic market position suggests a likely quick acceptance as an ‘anointed stock,’ replicating the action of Internet service provider America Online (AOL) in the early 1990s and Internet goods seller Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) in the mid to late 1990s,” Kass wrote in an email. “As such, Twitter’s share price may not be required, as most stocks are, to achieve visibility of early profits. Indeed, pegging the company’s share price (similar to AOL and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) back in the day) to the traditional metrics of profits and cash flows will not likely be a headwind to appreciation over the next few years, as its dominant market share and top-line growth will be conspicuous.”
Kass is a successful manager, so his opinion is certainly worth taking into account, but the way his opinion has changed over the last year is at least as interesting. Without profits or any real plan to be profitable in the next few years, valuation is highly speculative. Investors have to ask themselves whether they believe Twitter will both maintain its market dominance and find a way to monetize its user base three to five years from now when buying the stock at next month’s IPO. There’s no reason to doubt Kass’s prediction that Twitter’s share price will double in just a couple of months, but it could drop again in the same time span.
Twitter should consider all of Kass’s statements
Anyone who’s thinking about investing in Twitter should consider all of Kass’s statements: if an experienced investor can go from bull to bear to bull over a couple months when the underlying story remains essentially unchanged, the market won’t be any more predictable.