Re/code reported after the close on Wednesday that Alphabet's (GOOGL - Get Report) Google, seen by many as the most logical Twitter suitor, "does not currently plan to make a bid" for the microblogging platform. It added Apple (AAPL - Get Report) , for whom Twitter arguably wouldn't be as smooth a fit, was also unlikely to bid.
As of the time of this article, Twitter is down 9.5% in after hours trading to $22.51. Shares rose 5.7% in regular trading after The Wall Street Journal reported Twitter is expected to field offers this week, and that cloud CRM software leader Salesforce.com (CRM - Get Report) is looking to bid. Salesforce's shares fell 5.8% in regular trading, as the company's investors once more registered their disapproval of a Twitter deal.
It should be noted Twitter is still up 21% from where it closed on Sept. 22, the day before the first reports arrived that the company is open to a sale.
In addition to Salesforce, Disney (DIS - Get Report) has often been mentioned in reports as having interest. Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) , set to buy LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, was reported be interested in a September 23 TechCrunch column, but hasn't been mentioned in the latest reports.
Shortly before Re/code's story came out, Reuters reported Twitter "has told potential acquirers it is seeking to conclude negotiations about selling itself" prior to its third-quarter earnings report, due on Oct. 27, and that "binding acquisition offers" are due within two weeks. That has fueled speculation Twitter's results and/or guidance won't be pretty.
As it is, the company has forecast sales will grow just 4% to 7% annually in Q3, after growing 20% in Q2, 36% in Q1, and 48% in Q4 of 2015. A biting RBC downgrade released just before the first sale reports emerged indicated Twitter's ad sales momentum has further weakened in recent months.
Twitter provides clear synergies for Google's search, news, mobile and display ad efforts, and of all the rumored suitors, Google has the deepest pockets. But the company has shown more financial prudence under CFO Ruth Porat, who was hired from Morgan Stanley last year, and between Twitter's recent woes and the fact it still has a $15 billion-plus valuation, Google may have decided it's better to pass.
And with questions persisting about how well Twitter would fit with either Salesforce or Disney, and how investors in these companies would react to any deal, markets are recalibrating the odds they're giving to Twitter receiving a rich buyout offer.