Twitter Tumbles on Price Cut, Micron Tanks on Downgrade -- Tech Winners & Losers

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Twitter (TWTR) hit a new 52-week low after Axiom Capital issued a price target cut on the social media giant, citing concerns about its growth in its user base. Micron Technology (MU) tumbled after receiving a downgrade from Morgan Stanley. Intel (INTC) climbed higher despite mixed reports from analysts on its future earnings performance.

Twitter dropped 3.5% to close at $34.66. Earlier in the day, its shares hit a new 52-week low of $31.31.

The social media maven took a hit after Axiom Capital cut its price target to $40 a share from $45, as expectations for its second-quarter average monthly user base is anticipated to fall to 302 million from Axiom's previous expectations of 309 million, according to a report in Barron's. Axiom's analyst Victor Anthony is cited in Barron's, saying:

While we are longer-term believers in the monetization opportunity and believe that near-term direct response challenges are solvable, we remain on the sidelines until we see early evidence of a user and engagement fix (visibility remains low) as well as a fix to the recent monetization challenges.

Anthony, according to Barron's, based his price cut on the view that the benefits Twitter captured in the first quarter will not be as strong in the second quarter when it comes to organic growth and growth initiatives.

Meanwhile, Twitter's stock dropped to a level lower than where it was trading on the day it announced its embattled CEO Dick Costolo would be leaving the company on July 1 and that co-founder Jack Dorsey would serve as interim CEO, according to a report in Business Insider. Twitter's stock closed Thursday at $35.83, right before it announced Costolo's departure, according to the report. 


Micron Technology fell 3.5% to end the session at $24.24.

The memory chip marker took a hit after Morgan Stanley downgraded the company to underweight from equal-weight and lowered its price target to $21 a share from $30, according to a report in Benzinga

In assigning Micron its lowest rating, Morgan Stanley noted it expects the company to encounter greater weakness in its business than anticipated and that any seasonal strength is likely to arrive later than usual, according to a MarketWatch report.

Morgan Stanley, according to the MarketWatch report, stated:

While we have been cynical about Micron sustaining 2014 earnings levels going forward, we did expect a sharp rebound in 3Q with the help of Apple [dynamic random access memory] content, which has kept us on the sidelines," Moore wrote in a note to clients. "After doing several channel checks in Taiwan last week, we believe that this seasonal lift is delayed at least until 4Q."


Intel rose a slight 0.22% to end the day at $31.39 when the broader markets were down.

The semiconductor giant was able to weather a report by Goldman Sachs, which lowered its 2015 Intel earnings estimate to $2.10 a share from $2.20.

Although Goldman expects the company to miss its 3% sales increase in the second quarter from the previous quarter as weak growth in PCs continue to take a toll on the chip industry, other analysts were not as down on Intel.

Deutsche Bank analyst Ross Seymore, according to a report in MarketWatch, said the company's current valuation provides a "favorable risk/reward" and that weakness in PCs are anticipated to ease later this year or into fiscal 2016. Credit Suisse, according to MarketWatch, stated Intel's second quarter guidance on revenue is still obtainable, regardless of the week PC information that was released in April and May.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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