SunTrust's Peck Looks at 'Who's Left' to Bid for Twitter (TWTR)
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Shares of Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) are getting slammed Thursday (-19.3%) amid reports overnight from Re/Code that the market's ideal suitor, Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL), is not bidding. In addition, the report said Disney (NYSE: DIS) won't bid and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has no interest.
So who's left?
SunTrust's analyst Bob Peck attempts to answer.
Amid the news reports, Peck pared down his original suitor list to IBM (NYSE: IBM), Verizon (NYSE: VZ), AT&T (NYSE: T), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL), Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) or an international company.
While there may still be bidders, Pecks questions the value of a takeover. Applying the LinkedIn initial offer premium of 17x EBITDA, they think a take-out price could reach $20. If a potential sale becomes a competitive process (like LinkedIn’s process became), then the higher multiple of 21x could drive targets closer to $24. However, they underscore that it’s possible that no bids materialize (i.e. a “busted process”) or that bids are lower than the current stock price. Under this scenario, this could bring the stock back to its 52 week lows (~$14-15), right before when the LinkedIn acquisition that sparked general M&A anticipation.
"Hence the risk reward is still not favorable for Twitter," Peck said.
SunTrust Robinson Humphrey reiterated a Neutral rating and price target of $18 on TWTR.
Shares of Twitter, Inc. closed at $24.87 yesterday.
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Related EntitiesSunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Twitter, Definitive Agreement
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