Twitter is soaring as takeover talk resurfaces

Like a modern-day Helen of Troy, whose face famously launched a thousand ships, it looks like a tweet from Goldman Sa...

Posted: Dec 16, 2017 10:52 AM
Updated: Dec 16, 2017 10:52 AM

Like a modern-day Helen of Troy, whose face famously launched a thousand ships, it looks like a tweet from Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein has launched a thousand Twitter takeover rumors.

Blankfein tweeted a picture of himself with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Wednesday along with the following joke: "And they say I don't know jack!"

Blankfein was at Twitter headquarters to be interviewed by Dorsey. But since that tweet, there has been increased chatter about whether Twitter might be considering putting itself up for sale -- and if Goldman Sachs would be its merger advisor.

Twitter shares have surged more than 6% this week and are up nearly 40% this year -- despite the fact that many analysts remain concerned about slowing user growth, the lack of profitability and increased competition from Facebook and Snapchat.

So the merger speculation makes sense. Some have suggested that Twitter would be better off as the part of a larger company.

There has been frequent chatter about whether Google owner Alphabet would want to buy it, especially since former Google executive Omid Kordestani left Google to become Twitter's executive chairman in October 2015.

Disney was reportedly looking at Twitter last year as well, and Goldman Sachs was said to be advising Twitter at the time.

Apple and cloud software firm Salesforce, run by frequent tweeter Marc Benioff, have also been cited as possible Twitter acquirers.

There's also the argument that Dorsey would be better off giving up control of Twitter so he can focus even more on the other company he runs -- mobile payments firm Square.

Shares of Square have soared nearly 175% this year and a recent rally has been fueled by the fact that Square has started to let users of its Cash app buy and sell bitcoin.

Flash forward to this week. Disney just bought a big chunk of 21st Century Fox. And that has reignited talk of more consolidation throughout the media world, including social media companies like Twitter.

Related: Trump talked to Rupert Murdoch about Disney deal

A Twitter spokesperson said the company does not comment on rumors but added that Blankfein was at Twitter headquarters "to speak to Twitter employees about leadership and his use of Twitter."

"We have a wide range of guests who come speak to our employees as part of a larger Q&A series with well known Twitter users," the spokesperson added.

Goldman Sachs was not immediately available for comment.

Still, there are some reasons to be bullish on Twitter that have nothing to do with a possible takeover.

Some hope that engagement -- and hence, advertising revenue -- may increase now that Twitter has doubled its character count to 280.

Related: The case against 280-character tweets

There were some initial skepticism about the change, but that has largely died down. In fact, even Blankfein seems to be a fan after showing some reservations at first.

Blankfein tweeted on November 7 that he likes "the discipline of 140. Makes you commit. No room for "on the other hand...." #280characters is practically an essay!" That tweet took up just 137 characters.

But he quickly changed his tune, writing in a 173 character tweet on November 20 that "I'm using up to #280characters now because the room is there. Just like I know the 140 calorie yogurt is better for me but can't resist the 280 calorie cake if it's there."

Twitter also has a new partnership with news organization Bloomberg that is set to launch Monday. Bloomberg will debut a 24 hours/7 days a week social news network on Monday called TicToc that will stream live on Twitter.

This is just the latest effort by Twitter to show Wall Street that the service is not just about the famous people using Twitter, such as President Trump, but that it can also be a viable platform for live news and sports programming.

In addition to the deal with Bloomberg, Twitter also has live video deals with BuzzFeed, streaming financial news network Cheddar, Major League Baseball and golf's PGA Tour.

The jury is still out though as to whether or not Twitter will still be an independent company at this time a year from now. A lot of that will depend on whether Twitter's new video efforts can really boost user growth, ad sales and profits.

But that's probably something Blankfein and Dorsey will talk about in private as opposed to sharing those thoughts with Blankfein's 75,000 followers and Dorsey's more than 4 million devotees.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 613228

Reported Deaths: 9728
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion846851338
Lake45676687
Allen32980552
Hamilton29649315
St. Joseph27531382
Elkhart24478345
Vanderburgh19610250
Tippecanoe18108141
Johnson15191295
Porter14944169
Hendricks14485250
Madison11044222
Clark10811144
Vigo10795181
Monroe9458113
Delaware9170134
LaPorte9145164
Howard8292144
Kosciusko810183
Warrick680299
Hancock6782104
Bartholomew6640100
Floyd6507110
Wayne6177162
Grant6027116
Dubois558680
Boone556468
Morgan548695
Henry511464
Marshall506984
Cass486964
Dearborn486545
Noble475659
Jackson427747
Shelby420781
Lawrence393780
Clinton375044
Gibson374459
Harrison353045
DeKalb349864
Montgomery347654
Knox336239
Miami324544
Steuben315046
Whitley311126
Wabash305851
Adams302836
Ripley300546
Putnam298950
Huntington294860
Jasper291734
White275143
Daviess271774
Jefferson266238
Decatur249583
Fayette248648
Greene242262
Posey241028
Wells236951
LaGrange230062
Scott226839
Clay224332
Randolph215248
Jennings200636
Sullivan193533
Spencer193022
Washington188023
Fountain184927
Starke176444
Jay168623
Owen167637
Fulton164830
Orange160935
Carroll159715
Rush156318
Perry155929
Vermillion149734
Franklin149333
Tipton133133
Parke13088
Pike118526
Blackford111822
Pulaski97837
Newton92021
Brown88335
Benton87110
Crawford8099
Martin74913
Warren6857
Switzerland6695
Union6297
Ohio4977
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 868656

Reported Deaths: 10768
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin102154707
Cuyahoga865201153
Hamilton64744448
Montgomery43516419
Summit35250762
Lucas31663631
Butler31268232
Stark26096443
Warren19830142
Lorain19296229
Mahoning17471339
Lake16250154
Clermont16128112
Delaware1453680
Licking13326137
Fairfield1294981
Trumbull12920317
Greene12174141
Medina11732168
Clark11058265
Wood10457158
Allen9988127
Portage9454111
Miami924473
Richland9236118
Marion7486113
Tuscarawas7440183
Columbiana7409124
Pickaway732150
Wayne7111172
Muskingum710342
Erie6221130
Ross5558100
Hancock555292
Scioto542764
Geauga515955
Darke473492
Lawrence460658
Union456928
Ashtabula456473
Sandusky439562
Mercer435089
Seneca433866
Huron432841
Auglaize424164
Shelby422522
Jefferson422469
Belmont421145
Washington394240
Athens38389
Putnam378075
Madison358129
Knox356122
Ashland349038
Fulton340443
Defiance334486
Crawford325774
Preble322737
Brown315821
Logan312132
Ottawa296543
Clinton291543
Williams280367
Highland279018
Jackson265845
Guernsey257126
Champaign253428
Fayette239530
Morrow23464
Perry233718
Holmes226774
Henry221953
Hardin215533
Coshocton206922
Van Wert203445
Gallia199826
Wyandot196751
Pike178017
Adams177715
Hocking173224
Carroll157616
Paulding145321
Noble121040
Meigs109724
Monroe102232
Harrison89921
Morgan83931
Vinton71314
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 26°
Angola
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 25°
Huntington
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 32°
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 26°
Lima
Cloudy
35° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 25°
Wintry Mix & Snow
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events