NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Twitter (TWTR) - Get Report were higher in early-afternoon trading on Wednesday as Cantor Fitzgerald analysts said the social media company's 10-game NFL streaming roster could be a "make or break" moment for Twitter's management.
Twitter is debuting its first stream of Thursday Night Football tomorrow with the Jets vs. Bills game. Cantor Fitzgerald noted that Twitter isn't the only company to pursue sports streaming, as Amazon.com (AMZN) also has similar plans.
"If successful, these events could improve engagement on Twitter, and provide highly coveted video ad inventory to monetize," the firm said in an analyst note.
However, Cantor Fitzgerald said this could be Twitter management's "last opportunity" to reignite user growth and failure to do so is likely to "embolden shareholders to pressure the board" to evaluate alternatives to boost shareholder value, such as a possible merger or taking the company private.
The deal cost Twitter approximately $10 million and poses limited financial risk, especially as advertisers have shown strong interest in being involved with the streams, Cantor Fitzgerald added.
If the venture is successful, Twitter could see improvements in its fiscal 2016 fourth quarter and fiscal 2017 results, the firm said.
Additionally, Twitter is releasing a new live video app today that allows for streaming on Apple's (AAPL) Apple TV, Amazon.com's (AMZN) Fire TV and Microsoft's (MSFT) Xbox One console.
Cantor Fitzgerald maintained its "hold" rating and $18 price target on Twitter.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:
The team rates Twitter as a Sell with a ratings score of D. This is driven by multiple weaknesses, which it believes should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks it covers. Among the areas it feels are negative, one of the most important has been a generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: