Twitter's Stock Surges On Heavy Volume; Analyst Brushes Off Buyout Chatter

By Tomi KilgoreMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

Shares of Twitter Inc. soared 7.3% in active trade Wednesday, after media reports drummed up buyout speculation, again. Volume was 55.3 million shares, or more than double the full-day average of 23.6 million shares, according to FactSet. The buyout rumor this time, was that large stakeholders, such former Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer or Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed bin Talal were interested in buying the social network. "We see a takeover of [Twitter] led by these two investors as unlikely," said S&P Global equity analyst Scott Kessler in a research note emailed to MarketWatch. "We see value in the company's global platform, offerings and balance sheet, but think a notable activist investor or strategic acquirer would likely have to drive an acquisition of [Twitter], whose market cap is over $11 billion." In June, some analysts said Microsoft's bid to buy LinkedIn Corp. might inspire Alphabet Inc. to buy Twitter. Twitter's stock has run up 26% over the past three months, but has tumbled 24% year to date. The S&P 500 has gained 5.9% so far this year.

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