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Why This Analyst Is Raising Twitter Now

Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) has had a very hard time finding much love from Wall Street. On top of a management void, it has busted its initial public offering (IPO) price, and even after a sharp pullback the stock’s valuations remain sky-high. But now we are seeing at least one analyst make a key upgrade in the social media and micro-blogging site.

Twitter was raised to Buy from Neutral at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. The firm’s Robert Peck set the price target at $38.00 in the call. Peck’s view is one of cautious optimism.

Driving the upgrade was an attractive valuation and some coming catalysts that could rekindle interest. On valuation, Peck sees more upside than downside at current share prices.

The report noted an announcement that Jack Dorsey is likely to be named as permanent chief executive rather than just the interim CEO. That could come at the end of this week or over Labor Day.

An additional growth driver already on the books is that tweets are set to be integrated into Google search results.

A partnership with DoubleClick, e-commerce initiatives, ads with buy buttons and video ads were all cited as revenue drivers ahead.

As a reminder, Twitter priced its IPO at $26.00 per share in late 2013. Its range was initially $17 to $20, and that range settled in at $23 to $25 before its formal pricing at $26.00.

24/7 Wall St. has tracked several key issues when it comes to Twitter that are worth noting:

Twitter shares were up almost 5% at a high of $28.15 earlier Monday morning, but the shares were seen up 2.7% at $27.55 after almost an hour of trading. Twitter has a consensus price target from analysts of $39.82 and a 52-week range of $21.01 to $55.99.

Twitter shares had traded 9 million shares, versus an average daily volume of about 22.5 million shares. Its market cap is now close to $18.6 billion. In mid-2014, the level between $30 and $33 was support for a brief time, but that lasted only about one month.

While one analyst call may not make a serious sentiment change, it has been noted this morning that SunTrust has been right more often than not on its own Twitter ratings. It still seems as though the market wants to try to figure out how to value Twitter as a stock.

By Jon C. Ogg


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