Dick Costolo Is 'In Trouble' After Twitter Leak, Q1 Earnings Miss

Shares of Twitter Inc TWTR were halted shortly before the close after the company's first quarter earnings were leaked online. The leak proved to be somewhat disappointing for investors who expected more from the social media empire, especially those who are a bullish on the stock. "The overriding thought that keeps coming to my mind is I really thought [CEO] Dick Costolo was in the clear," Sean Udall, CIO of Quantum Trading Strategies and author of The TechStrat Report. "Man, I think he's gonna face just a ton of pressure. Because really, they should have pre-announced." Udall said if there was anything that really upset him, it was the fact that Twitter chose not to make an early announcement. "The thing I keep coming back to is, given the miss, given the magnitude of the guide lower, where the heck was the pre-announcement?" Udall questioned. "They really should have pre-announced. That was a very poor decision making at the top, so that guy's gonna face a ton of pressure."

Related Link: What Will Twitter Look Like On Google?

Google Is The Future

Udall thinks the Google Inc GOOG search partnership is more important than ever. He said that deal is the thing that could get Twitter's shares moving again, but many questions remain. "How much leverage do they get?" Udall wondered. "How much traction do they get? How does that help mobile monthly active users? Does that help monetization?" Investors shouldn't be surprised if Twitter's decline makes it more attractive to potential buyers. "I tell you what, if Google wanted a better price to buy Twitter, here you go," said Udall. "As a shareholder, there would have been no way in you know what that I would have considered letting my shares go between $55 and $65. There's no way. If there had been a merger agreement, I would have been mad selling the stock at $60. At this point, if Google wants to give me $55 to $65 a share for Twitter, boom -- they can have 'em." Udall previously did not expect investors to settle for anything less than double Twitter's value.

'Still A Believer'

Despite the earnings miss, Cody Willard said he is "still a believer" in Twitter. The former hedge fund manager said that he purchased his shares when it crashed in the $30 range and has held onto it ever since. He might buy more now that it has taken a hit. "Certainly revenues were disappointing given the fact that they just gave us guidance recently that we thought would be something relevant and it's not," Willard, chairman of Scutify (a financial social network) and Futr (a futuristic messaging app), told Benzinga. "The last 90 days of business wasn't as good as they thought it would be. And they also expect the whole next year won't be as good as Wall Street was expecting, so of course the stock is going to get hit." Willard said that if investors take a step back and put this into context, Twitter is "still one of the fastest-growing companies on the planet and the model itself for social networking and monetizing the 300 to 400 million users they've got is a beautiful model." Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.
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Posted In: Analyst ColorEarningsNewsAnalyst RatingsTechCody WillardDick CostoloFutrScutifySean Udalltwitter
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