Twitter investors are so hopeful that the company will come under new ownership that a CNBC report that Salesforce or Google could acquire it has sent its shares soaring by 20% in pre-market trading—even with the caveat that “no sale is imminent.”
CNBC reported that Twitter had received “expressions of interest” from several companies, with Salesforce and Google rumored to be among them. Still, no formal bid had been received, and CNBC’s anonymous source said a sale is far from guaranteed. However, the source said, momentum was building and an acquisition could happen before the year is up. Update: Salesforce is reportedly in the early stages of considering an acquisition, the Wall Street Journal (paywall) reported.
It appears that just the whiff of an acquisition by a deep-pocketed buyer is enough to get Twitter investors’ flagging hopes up. Here’s its share price for the year to date:
Of course, rumors of acquisitions have a tendency to become self-fulfilling prophecies. A rumor like this can be a way to generate interest in a potential acquisition target. In August the stock was up 9% on chatter that former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal were planning a joint shopping excursion.
Twitter shareholders haven’t had a smooth ride since co-founder Jack Dorsey returned to run the company in 2015. A plethora of new features, concentrated on video and sports content, hasn’t translated into gains for its user base, or its revenues. Here’s its share price since Dorsey took over:
It’s no wonder investors are hoping Marc Benioff or Sundar Pichai will scoop up the micro-messaging service.