Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) blew the doors off estimates for its most recently completed quarter and is now earning upgrade, after upgrade, after upgrade. This time it’s analysts from MKM Partners who have handed out an upgrade—in the form of a boosted price target.
Twitter bulls feel support
In a report dated July 31, 2014, MKM Partners Managing Director Rob Sanderson said he sees Twitter’s second quarter earnings report as a “solid datapoint” in support of his bullish view on the company. However, he thinks investor sentiment will remain shifted toward the negative side while remaining polarized.
The analyst thinks Twitter is still seen as a key asset on Wall Street and that many of the current bears would become bulls if the company’s stock price was lower. They say the reason views will likely remain polarized is mainly because of the rich valuation, particularly because it is combined with decelerating user growth and questions about scale. He thinks more “definitive proof points” regarding user growth will are needed before sentiment will shift toward the positive.
Twitter estimates increased
The analyst increased his estimates for the September quarter and also the full year based on upside and Twitter’s improved guidance. He said the micro-blogging company’s revenue growth is “impressive” and notes that while the World Cup did impact the results, feedback from advertisers about their campaigns on Twitter has been “very positive. Sanderson thinks the “dollar allocation” behind the World Cup could end up being “more sticky [sic] than on the surface.” He believes Twitter could see its margins expand faster than currently expected.
Sanderson adjusted user growth projections, expecting 815 million users by 2020. He thinks most investors are projecting a number that’s far below that. He’s projecting 2% to 3% higher revenue per user than in his previous estimate.
Twitter price target increased
The analyst also raised his price target for Twitter from $55 to $64 per share and maintained his Buy rating. He notes that the company’s stock price rose quickly in a single day, but he believes that investor opinions probably won’t meet up in the wake of the recent earnings report. He also says that while Twitter’s user additions were better, they still weren’t “great.”
Nonetheless, he still believes Twitter will become a mass market service. His research indicates “high, differentiated value and sticky audience, but significant leakage from a cumbersome learning curve. This is one problem he thinks is fixable though. He expects the user experience and growth metrics to keep improving.