Just when Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) stock looked like it couldn't go any lower, it did. Then it did again. Twitter shares began a steep descent from around $53 in April to about $35 by mid-ear as investor concerns about the company's slowing user growth mounted. Now shares are hitting all-time lows again and shares are trading around $22 at the time of this writing.
Investors were hoping the company's decision this summer to bring back co-founder Jack Dorsey as CEO would quickly spark big, game-changing strategic moves. But, so far, the Street appears unimpressed.
Chief Investment Officer Rizvi Traverse, whose investment firm has a stake in both Twitter and Square, is among the investors betting Dorsey is the right fit for Twitter as the company aims to address the social platform's slowing user growth problem.
But Rizvi says investors will have to wait longer to see the fruit of Dorsey's return.
An excerpt from a Dec. 21 Wall Street Journal article captures Rizvi's confidence: "When asked what he thinks of Mr. Dorsey's performance so far, Mr. Rizvi, the investor, said: 'The results will be apparent over the next few quarters.'"
Similarly, in an October interview with CNBC, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams expressed confidence in Dorsey's plans to make "bold" moves. Williams believes these big changes will be evident in "months."
So far, the pace of change at Twitter from an outsider's perspective remains similar to the unsatisfactory pace under former CEO Dick Costolo's reign. And this is driving uncertainty in the stock market toward the stock, playing a key role in the continued sell-off.
Twitter product lead Kevin Weil said during a Code/Mobile interview in October that Dorsey is encouraging Twitter managers to challenge their own assumptions. Weil even went as far as to say that the company is willing to change "something that's at the core of Twitter," prompting speculation that Twitter could even drop its 140-character limit for tweets.
One recent move that was supposed to represent a catalyst for the company was Twitter's October-launched Moments, a.k.a. "project lighting." But the new Twitter feature, which aims to rapidly curate news, doesn't appear to sport the gusto needed to transform the service into the mass-market player investors are hoping for.
While investors should, indeed, expect to see successful new features from Twitter following Dorsey's return, Rizvi is probably right that it's going to take "the next few quarters" for the co-founder's impact to be realized. Even Twitter's Moments feature isn't entirely representative of Dorsey's return to the company; the product was already deep into development when Costolo resigned.
For the time being, Twitter investors are just going to have to wait.