If you’re like most people, you probably missed out on your chance to buy Twitter’s stock at its IPO price. But shares have taken such a beating in the last month—falling 5.8% today (Aug. 20) alone—that they’re now available at $26, their offering price.
On the day of its IPO (Nov. 7, 2013), demand shot Twitter’s opening price to $44.90 before shares reached a high of $50.09 in intraday trading. By the end of the year, it hit an all-time high of $74.73. The honeymoon period quickly ended afterward.
Twitter’s not the only company that’s struggling in the markets today. The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq all saw declines, pushed lower by uncertainty over the timing of an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve, China’s economic slowdown, and volatility in oil prices.
But for Twitter, the problems run deeper than the broad economic environment. Since it went public, investors have been demanding stronger user growth, but so far the service has struggled to find mainstream appeal. In June, Dick Costolo stepped down as CEO, and Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey returned as interim CEO as the company searches for a permanent leader.
In his first earnings call as CEO, Dorsey in July called the company’s lagging growth “unacceptable” and laid out a roadmap to simplifying Twitter’s service. Chief financial officer Anthony Noto added that it “will take a considerable period of time” before the company sees “sustained, meaningful growth.”
Given Twitter’s woes, many people have speculated it could be a possible acquisition target for Google, which has failed many times to build a successful social network of its own. The search giant, which recently announced that it will restructure as a subsidiary of a new parent company called Alphabet, is sitting on close to $70 billion in cash. So far, Dorsey, a leading contender to be Twitter’s permanent CEO, has said he’ll do what’s best for shareholders, but believes the company can return value as an independent company.