Shares of Twitter (TWTR) - Get Report look set to trade sharply lower today after the microblog operator reported better than expected third quarter revenue and profits last night, but also gave guidance for sales and earnings in the new quarter that fell far short of consensus forecasts. Meanwhile, Apple (AAPL) - Get Report , which similarly reported better than expected results but issued muted guidance, is trading higher in the wake of its report.
BUY TWITTER: Stifel analyst Scott Devitt, who described himself as a "long-time critic" of Twitter, upgraded the stock to Buy from Hold, saying that he believes that the hiring of Jack Dorsey as the company's CEO is the "first step" towards improving its product and repairing its business. Devitt, who believes Dorsey has already made some positive changes in his three weeks at the helm, also thinks that lowered expectations for the company and easing comps at the end of 2015 will facilitate those processes. The analyst sees a 12-month bull case into the $40s for the stock, and a bear case of the shares falling into the "low $20s," which he argues presents "quite favorable risk-reward proposition." Devitt set a $34 price target on Twitter shares. Also bullish on the stock in the wake of last night's report was JPMorgan analyst Doug Anmuth, who lowered his price target for Twitter to $46 from $50 but recommends buying the stock today on the post-earnings selloff. Anmuth thinks the company's outlook could be "somewhat conservative" and that Twitter's platform is still differentiated. Further, he believes positive changes across the company's product, leadership and strategy are accelerating. Anmuth keeps an Overweight rating on Twitter.
BUY APPLE: Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves upgraded Apple to Overweight, saying long-term value offsets the remaining near-term risks. Expectations for the iPhone 6S cycle have fallen, and growth should reaccelerate beyond the March 2016 quarter, Hargreaves told investors in a research note following Apple's September quarter results. Hargreaves, who cites Apple's "dominant" smartphone position and attractive valuation for his upgrade, has a 12-month price target of $142 for shares. Meanwhile, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster pointed out that on last night's earnings conference call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said he expects iPhone units up year-over-year in the December quarter. This is a relief since investors were bracing for the start of the 6S cycle to be "down meaningfully," Munster told investors. Market share gains are driving unit growth with 30% of the September quarter iPhones sold being switchers from Google's (GOOG) - Get Report , (GOOGL) - Get Report Android platform, said Munster, who raised his price target for Apple to $179 from $172 and keeps an Overweight rating on the stock.
PRICE ACTION: Twitter shares are trading down $3.54, or 11%, to $27.80 in early trading. Over the last six months, the stock has declined more than 30%. Meanwhile, Apple rose 2% to $116.87 in early trading. Over the last six months, shares of the iPhone maker are down about 10%.
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