Shares of President Donald Trump’s favorite virtual soap box glided lower on Thursday after receiving a downgrade and one-year price target cut from analysts at J.P. Morgan, who cited a weakening advertising environment.
Twitter (TWTR) - Get Report was down 2.5% at $26.81 in trading on Thursday after analyst Doug Anmuth downgraded the stock to neutral from overweight with a one-year price target of $29 on expectations that ad weakness won’t be enough to offset surging use of the platform amid “unprecedented” social media usage.
In a research note to clients, Anmuth cited a weakening advertising environment that in his view presents a particular risk to Twitter’s revenue, which he believes “could be steeper than for other online publishers” given its already low-growth trajectory ahead of the downturn."
Twitter’s heavy dependency on ads related to product launches, events and sports - most of which have been shelved amid the coronavirus pandemic - also makes it particularly susceptible to a drop in ad-based revenue over the short term, Anmuth said.
Over the longer-term, however, Anmuth remains encouraged by the company’s “continued strength in engagement, greater oversight, and potential to ultimately improve monetization,” he said.
The move stands in contrast to upgrades from analysts at both Bernstein and Goldman Sachs, who in recent weeks have raised their ratings and price targets on the view that the stock current valuation is lower than what the company's fundamentals suggest.