Twitter’s stock (TWTR
) jumped 20 percent Friday morning after CNBC reported
that the struggling microblogging company is progressing toward a sale.
Unnamed sources told the TV network that several technology and media companies have expressed interest in Twitter, which faces a stagnant user base and slowing revenue growth. A formal bid for the company may come soon.
The sources cited Google (GOOG
) and Salesforce.com (CRM
) as potential buyers. While none of the companies commented to CNBC, Salesforce.com isn’t exactly playing it coy.
After the CNBC report hit the air, Salesforce.com chief digital evangelist, Vala Afshar, tweeted
: “Why @twitter?
1 personal learning network
2 the best realtime, context rich news
3 democratize intelligence
4 great place to promote others.”
The CNBC sources said potential acquirers are interested as much in value of the Twitter’s data as in its value as a media company.
For months, analysts have been saying
that a buyout is Twitter’s best hope for a rebound. The company posted 20 percent revenue growth in its June quarter, representing its smallest increase as a public company and its eighth straight quarter of sliding growth. Twitter has 313 million users, up just 3 percent
from a year ago.
A takeover isn’t guaranteed, of course, but one source told CNBC that a deal could transpire before year-end.
Wall Street analysts didn’t offer immediate commentary on the news. Of 26 analysts
who published a report on Twitter in the last 30 days, only four were positive. The analysts generated a median price target of $16 for Twitter shares, down 28 percent from its level of $22.22 Friday morning.