Twitter Stock Spikes on Reports of Possible Sale

The Hollywood Reporter

Twitter's stock skyrocketed Friday morning on new reports that the company is preparing for a sale. 

The flagging social media site has been an acquisition target for some time, but a board meeting in early September has re-ignited speculation about who might buy the company.

Now, CNBC reports that Google and Salesforce are among the half-dozen or so companies that are interested in Twitter that might make a formal bid. A source tells The Hollywood Reporter that Verizon is also interested in Twitter, following an earlier report from TechCrunch that named Verizon and Microsoft as among the interested parties. 

A spokeswoman for Salesforce declined to comment. A Verizon spokesman denied reports from late summer that the company has made a standing offer for Twitter but declined to comment further. Representatives for Twitter, Microsoft and Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to the CNBC report, a sale is not imminent but might occur before the end of the year. 

Twitter has been an acquisition target over the last year as its stock has fallen on weak user growth. The company last year installed co-founder Jack Dorsey as its CEO to help re-ignite its growth. Dorsey has focused on new products, like Twitter Moments, and live streaming video deals designed to encourage people outside its core user base to use the service. Many of these new products and features encourage Twitter usage without requiring a person to log into an account. 

In July, Twitter reported second quarter revenue of $602 million, up 20 percent year over year, and adjusted earnings of 13 cents per share. Meanwhile, the company grew its users by just 3 percent to 313 million. 

Twitter's market cap is currently $15.5 billion, but it has been bolstered over the last few weeks by the speculation of a potential sale. The company's stock was trading up more than 20 percent on the sale reports during midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.