NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Twitter (TWTR) - Get Report was eager to gets bids from potential suitors in early October because it wanted to try to avoid announcing layoffs, Oppenheimer's Jason Helfstein said on CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Thursday afternoon. The firm has an "underperform" rating and $17 price target on the stock.
Twitter will cut its workforce by 9%, or about 350 people, the company announced alongside its 2016 third quarter results this morning.
Before today's opening bell, Twitter reported adjusted earnings of 13 cents per share, above estimates of 9 cents per share. Revenue rose by 8% year-over-year to $616 million and topped expectations of $606 million.
Twitter had reportedly received takeover interest from Salesforce.com (CRM) and Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google unit, but they have both lost interest. Walt Disney (DIS) may still be interested in acquiring Twitter, Betaville reported on Tuesday.
"Clearly when Twitter asked for bids to be due in two weeks, it was a sign they wanted to do something. They didn't want to announce a head count reduction. It's messy. It's time-consuming. If they had sold it, then they wouldn't have had to announce it," Helfstein explained.
But now that Twitter has announced the layoffs, the company needs to improve its cash flow to become more attractive to potential suitors within the media sector next year, he claimed.
"A media company is going to care about the cash flow impact, whereas a big tech company might say, 'I don't care about the cash flow. I care about the technology and platform and users,'" Helfstein explained.
Shares of Twitter were higher in late afternoon trading on Thursday.
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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 team rates Twitter as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. The primary factors that have impacted the team's rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: TWTR