Twitter Upgraded at Mizuho Ahead of Thursday Earnings Report

Twitter was raised to neutral from underperform as Mizuho sees the covid-19 downside  baked into the messaging company's stock price.
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Twitter  (TWTR) - Get Report analysts at Mizuho upgraded the stock to neutral from underperform ahead of the messaging company's earnings Thursday. 

Mizuho did lower Twitter's price target 20%, to $28 from $35. Analyst James Lee says  the downside risk from covid-19 is already mostly priced into the shares. 

Lee says his channel checks with advertisers suggest that Twitter saw a bigger drop in revenue growth over the past couple months, as the social-media company is more exposed to advertising and live events than other players in the space. 

As a result, Mizuho reduced its second-quarter revenue estimate to down 26% year over year from its previous view of 10% higher in the quarter. 

"Unfortunately, all major live events such as live sports, concerts and political rallies have been canceled or postponed. Additionally, the Tokyo Olympics will be deferred to the summer of 2021," Lee wrote. 

Monday's upgrade at Mizuho comes a bit more than a week after analysts at J.P. Morgan downgraded the stock to neutral while also lowering its price target to $29 a share. 

Analyst Doug Anmuth cited a weakening ad environment that presented a particular risk to Twitter’s revenue. That risk could sharper than for other online publishers, given its already low-growth trajectory ahead of the downturn, the analysts wrote.

Twitter is scheduled to report its quarterly results on April 30, with analysts surveyed by FactSet expecting a GAAP loss of 2 cents a share, or adjusted earnings of 10 cents, on revenue of $789 million. 

Twitter shares at last check rose 3.8% to $29.83.