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Why Twitter Stock Popped 9% Today

By Rich Smith - Mar 2, 2020 at 12:38PM

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Or "when activists attack."

What happened

Twitter (TWTR -2.55%) stock leaped out of the gate Monday after it was reported over the weekend that activist investor Elliott Management has taken a stake in the company and will be moving to oust CEO Jack Dorsey from the company he co-founded.  

As of 1:10 p.m. EST today, Twitter stock is up 8.7%.

Twitter's blue bird icon

Image source: Twitter.

So what

As Bloomberg reports, Elliott has bought an unspecified number of Twitter shares, and intends to vote them in support of four directors it has nominated to Twitter's board. Only three seats are actually coming up for election this year, but Elliott is hoping at least one other director may voluntarily retire, allowing it a chance to claim that seat as well.

Elliott's ultimate goal, it seems, is to oust Dorsey and then run Twitter as Elliott sees fit, ideally with the result of moving the stock price higher.

Now what

Would that be the logical result, though? After all, Twitter under Dorsey's management just finished reporting its first-ever quarter with $1 billion in revenue, with sales up 11% year over year in Q4. Reports of abusive tweets are down, and numbers for monetizable daily active users (mDAUs) are up.

On the other hand, earnings dropped by more than half last quarter. If you assume that an activist investor will be especially interested in increasing profits (that being the most visible evidence in support of a higher stock price), then Elliott's involvement could be just the thing to get Twitter stock moving higher again.

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