Shares of Twitter, battered in recent weeks after a wave of exec departures and investors fretting about sluggish user growth, opened sharply higher Monday following a report that the social company has been in talks about some kind of private-equity deal.
Twitter stock opened up 6.5%, to $17.89 per share, climbing as high as $18.80 in morning trading Monday. The surge came after a report Sunday by website the Information that investor Marc Andreessen and Silver Lake Partners have “considered some sort of deal” with Twitter. It is not known if the talks are currently active, the report said, or what the nature of such a deal might be.
Still, Twitter is well off its 52-week high of $53.49 per share, and down from $23.14 at the beginning of 2016. Investors are frustrated with Twitter’s relatively anemic growth of monthly active users, which hit 307 million in the third quarter of 2015 (up 1% from the prior quarter). Twitter is scheduled to report Q4 and full-year 2015 results on Feb. 10.
Two weeks ago, Twitter investors pushed shares up on rumors that New Corp was interested in acquiring or investing in the company. The stock declined after a News Corp rep dismissed the rumors as untrue.
Then last week, Twitter’s stock was hammered after the disclosure that four senior execs, including media chief Katie Stanton and SVP of product Kevin Weil, were leaving the company. The company last Tuesday announced that it hired its first CMO, Leslie Berland, formerly EVP of global advertising, marketing and digital partnerships at American Express.