Twitter shares were up following the news that the company’s finance chief, Anthony Noto, acquired shares of the micro-blogging firm. Since the start of this month, Noto has bought 6,700 shares at a price ranging from $37.50 to $38, according to a filing with the SEC.
To restore investor confidence
After being criticized widely for their stock sales, Twitter insiders halted them last month. The halt of insider selling was primarily done to restore the faith of investors. However, the micro-blogging firm recently received a jolt when its first quarter revenue missed the consensus estimates and the company’s own guidance. Also for the current quarter and for 2015, Twitter gave a grim outlook.
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After the news, Mad Money host Jim Cramer tweeted, “Thank you, @anthonynoto for buying some shares in $TWTR; been a rough run.”
Noto, a Goldman Sachs veteran, joined Twitter last year. The executive, who was among the highest paid employees at the micro-blogging firm last year, has been steadily increasing his influence. Noto played a vital role in striking a deal with Google and handles key responsibilities within the firm, including finance, accounting, real estate, corporate strategy and consumer marketing.
Twitter low on investor confidence
Many analyst firms have released their verdicts on the micro-blogging company in recent days. SunTrust, in a research note earlier this month, reaffirmed its Neutral rating on the stock and lowered the price target from $45 to $44. SunTrust also questioned the company’s acquisition of TellApart, saying, “We are surprised by the lack of disclosure on the earnings call that Twitter had made such a sizable acquisition.”
In a research note on May 4, Zacks lowered its rating on Twitter from Buy to Hold, citing slow user growth and engagement as concerns for the micro-blogging firm. Also in a research note on the same day, analysts at Robert W. Baird reaffirmed their Neutral rating on the firm but lowered their price target from $55 to $45. Stifel Nicolaus analysts upgraded the stock from Sell to Hold and raised their price target from $36 to $38.25. In a research note on May 3, analysts at JMP Securities initiated coverage on Twitter with a price target of $52.
On Wednesday, Twitter shares closed up 0.64% at $37.72, and year to date, the stock is up by over 5%.