Is the Twitter bubble about to burst?

Chris Lau, Kapitall: Is Web 2.0 the foundation for explosive 21st century growth, or are we in a Twitter bubble? 

Twitter (TWTR) is not a favorite stock these days. Its shares are down 35% in the quarter, close to its opening day IPO price close. Ahead of quarterly results on April 21 2014, Twitter is trying to excite investors.

[Read more from Kapitall: Drone stocks: some people in Colorado really, really don’t like drones]

The hope for product enhancements is to stem the decline in usage, and to fend off competition from the likes of Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOG). Feature improvements in Facebook’s newsfeed and Google+ are bad news for Twitter.

Twitter enhanced tweet views by adding a conversation view last year. It could add a timeline view of favorite users. This would reduce the “noise” inherent when following many users.

App-install ad

Advertising will be updated with “app-install ad.” Users clicking on such an ad will be directed to the sponsor’s page where the program could be downloaded. Tests of this ad engine showed costs for advertisers fell by 80 percent. This makes advertising at least as cost efficient to advertising on Facebook.

King IPO a drag on Twitter

King’s (KING) IPO did little to help Twitter shares. King’s IPO may have been priced too high, but one thing is for certain: the drop in King shares on opening day suggests investors are losing interest in mobile gaming entertainment stocks.

Investors should be cautious ahead of Twitter’s quarterly report. Twitter has a negative book value per share, higher annual expenses over sales, and more liabilities than total assets. Traffic and usage is likely to continue dropping, since the ad and site enhancements will not bear fruit until later. Lower user activity and posts will also mean advertisers will spend elsewhere, notably on Facebook or Instagram.

1. Twitter, Inc. ( TWTR): Twitter, Inc. is a global platform for public self-expression and conversation in real time. Market cap at $20.23B, most recent closing price at $55.78.

 

 

2. Facebook, Inc. ( FB): Facebook, Inc. operates as a social networking company worldwide. It provides a set of development tools and application programming interfaces that enable developers to integrate with Facebook to create mobile and Web applications. Market cap at $173.98B, most recent closing price at $70.78.

 

 

3. Google Inc. ( GOOG): Google is a technology company that builds products and provides services to organize the information including the world's most popular search engine. Market cap at $405.99B, most recent closing price at $1212.51.

(Written by Chris Lau, a Kapitall writer. All data sourced from Zacks Investment Research.)

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