Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) ignited a fire under investors again today, thanks to a big upgrade from analysts at Nomura. The micro-blogging company snapped a nine-day losing streak on Tuesday after only gaining 1 cent, but it took off today after Nomura’s upgrade. In just the last month, Twitter stock had plunged by about 22.5%—until its big turnaround today.
Twitter upgraded to Buy
Analyst Anthony DiClemente of Nomura upgraded Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) to Buy today, saying that Wall Street finally understands that the company is purely a niche social network. At the price he was writing at, he said investors had priced Twitter’s niche status into its share price. As a result, he thinks the risk versus reward is “much more favorable” because enhancements to the company’s products will likely kick-start user growth.
The analyst maintained his $43 per share price target on Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR). To set that target, he started with a PE ratio of 24 times his estimate for Twitter’s 2017 earnings per share. He projects earnings of $2.19 per share for Twitter that year. Then he discounted that value by 12% because of two years of possible risk.
Upside to Wall Street’s Twitter estimates seen
DiClemente said he thinks the 50% dive Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) has taken so far this year is mostly because Wall Street is finally realizing that the company won’t ever be a mainstream social network like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). However, he also sees the potential for upside to Wall Street’s estimates for Twitter.
He notes that currently, the Street is projecting that Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) will be less than 20% of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s size in three years. However, he said Twitter’s new products and features could provide a boost to user growth—the sticking point that has kept investors unhappy with the company since it went public.
What Twitter has going for it
Specifically, he listed push notification improvements and making it easier for users to sign up on mobile devices. He said other features that could draw more users than expected in are improvements in the micro-blogging company’s “recommendation engine, the launch of ‘media-forward’ products” and others. He thinks the combination of all these improvements might reaccelerate Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) ‘s growth rates beyond Wall Street’s lower expectations. In addition, he sees tremendous potential in the company’s MoPub advertising platform, which has the potential to reach over a billion users.
The Nomura analyst also noted that Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)’s revenue per user is growing faster than that of any other company in the social media industry. In fact, he projects that it could be as high as $5.97 per user next year, which would be a match for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s average revenue per user only last year.