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Twitter shares slump to all-time low as user growth stalls

Shares of social media website Twitter Inc hit an all-time low on Thursday after the company said late Wednesday that user growth stalled for the first time since the company went public in 2013.



Shares of social media website Twitter Inc hit an all-time low on Thursday after the company said late Wednesday that user growth stalled for the first time since the company went public in 2013.

More than 20 brokerages cut price targets on the shares, which have fallen more than 35 percent in less than six weeks and more than 50 percent since chief executive Jack Dorsey returned in July. The median price target for the stock is still $21, 50 percent higher than the current price.

Shares were last down more than 4 percent on the day, at one point hitting an all-time low of $13.91 a share.

Currently, 14 of 45 brokers have a "buy" rating on the company.

Starmine, a unit of Thomson Reuters, pegs the company`s intrinsic value at $11.40 a share, implying further stock declines.

In its earnings report on Wednesday, Twitter said it had 320 million average monthly active users in the fourth quarter, unchanged from the third quarter and lagging a forecast for 323 million from RBC Capital Markets.

But Dorsey told analysts that monthly active usage in January "has bounced back to Q3 levels."

And Chief Operating Officer Adam Bain, in an interview on CNBC on Thursday, said that more than 500 million people Twitter describes as logged-out users, who do not have accounts, visited the site, providing a new source of advertising revenue for the company, but he gave no data about the revenue that traffic created.

Facing slowing user growth, Twitter has been experimenting under Dorsey, who became interim CEO in July and then CEO in October, with ways to make its website more engaging.

On Wednesday the company made one of its most dramatic changes, altering how it displays tweets on its home page by customising them to individual users.

The change is designed to appeal to advertisers by giving more prominence to tweets they pay for.

Howard Lindzon, an entrepreneur and founder of Stocktwits and an early Twitter user, said about the timeline and other new features: "They have a product that works but the marketing is terrible," arguing Twitter should position it as "Facebook for really smart and busy people."

In October, Dorsey unveiled Moments, which aims to make it easier for users to follow major events and breaking news, but the feature has failed to gain traction, analysts say.

Dorsey has also experimented with changing one of Twitter`s signature features, by expanding the 140-character limit.

From Zee News

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