Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) shares have tanked more than 44% this year so far, even as the company continues to roll out new features to make its platform more engaging. The decline was triggered by concerns around its slowing user growth. But some analysts are confident about Twitter’s business model, and consider the recent dip a buying opportunity. After last week’s upgrade by Morgan Stanley, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Robert Peck upgraded the stock from Neutral to Buy on Monday.
Twitter has a long runway in its core business
SunTrust has a $45 price target on the stock. Robert Peck believes that Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), just like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD), and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), has a long runway in its core business. SunTrust’s price target suggests a 13x multiple of 2015 revenue estimates and 60x estimated EBITDA for 2015. Peck argues that comparing Twitter to Facebook isn’t fair, and the stock would work even if it doesn’t grow as big as Facebook.
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SunTrust says that Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is worth buying solely on its ability to keep narrowing the 50% monetization gap, even if the user growth continues to decelerate. The company has the capability to expand its revenue growth with effective monetization. Peck estimates the microblogging company can “monetize revenues by 9% of the rate of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB).”
Investors have overlooked some positives about Twitter
The research firm said the lock-up expiration earlier this month and slowing user growth are enough to justify the recent pullback. However, investors have overlooked some positives. Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)’s monetization grew at a whopping 76% in the first quarter. There is immense upside potential from nascent businesses like MoPub and video. And the company has options for e-commerce and real-time search. Twitter’s first quarter revenues of $250 million came in above the consensus estimate of $240.90 million.
On Monday, Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) introduced a new feature called ‘Mute.’ It allows users to block posts from unwanted users. Twitter shares went down 1.22% to $33.52 at 11:28 AM EDT on Tuesday.