Twitter stock closed up 4.5% Wednesday, after co-founder and board member Ev Williams said in an interview that the company would be open to considering a takeover.
Shares of Twitter popped amid a broader market decline, following an interview with Williams on Bloomberg TV in which he acknowledged that the company has an obligation to explore credible acquisition offers.
“We’re in a strong position now, and as a board member we have to consider the right options,” Williams said in the interview with Bloomberg TV’s Emily Chang.
Of course, any company’s board members have a legal duty to engage in due diligence about prospective buy-out offers. But the fact that the stock rose on Williams’ comment shows that investors are eager for a potentially positive exit. Twitter in recent months has been the subject of regular acquisition rumors, including one that News Corp was looking to invest in or buy the company (which News Corp said was false). Analysts have speculated that Google could be a potential Twitter buyer.
Even with the bump to close at $19.21 per share Wednesday, Twitter’s stock price is well off its 52-week high of $31.87.
Twitter has been struggling to show sustained user growth, and the company disappointed Wall Street after reporting second-quarter 2016 results and Q3 guidance that did not meet revenue expectations. It’s also been suffering from a revolving door of high-level execs, with Kirstine Stewart, previously head of North American media partnerships, among the latest to depart.