Twitter plunges after Bloomberg says sales process 'almost dead'
Shares of Twitter (TWTR) are sharply lower in morning trading following a report that big-name potential suitors are now unlikely to make a bid for the social media platform. SALES PROCESS "ALMOST DEAD": Twitter's sales process is "almost dead" as the major suitors for the company have lost interest amid investor pressure, Bloomberg reported this weekend, citing people familiar with the matter. Major suitors once interested, including Alphabet's (GOOG, GOOGL) Google, Salesforce (CRM) and Disney (DIS), are unlikely to make a bid, according to the sources. Twitter had planned to hold a board meeting with outside advisers on a sale on Friday, but canceled, one source said. SALESFORCE INVESTORS 'NOT PLEASED' WITH POTENTIAL TWITTER PURCHASE: According to the Bloomberg report, several Salesforce investors spoke with Chief Financial Officer Mark Hawkins and other executives last week at its investor conference about how they "weren't pleased" with the idea of a Twitter buyout, while other high-profile investors emailed Hawkins to discuss the matter. SHARE PRICE DECLINES: Salesforce and other rumored Twitter suitors have seen their share price decline since rumors of a Twitter buyout surfaced. IF NO BUYOUT, THEN...: Without an acquisition, Bloomberg said that Twitter will need to rely more heavily on its live video streaming strategy. The company has formed partnerships for sports entertainment content, like the NFL's Thursday night games, and politics that it can stream alongside related tweets. Twitter recently noted that it reached 3.1M combined worldwide viewers for the NFL Thursday Night Kickoff pregame show and the Cardinals/49ers game for a minimum of three seconds with that video being 100% in view. The social media platform has also considered other solutions, such as divestitures of assets not central to its business, people familiar with the matter have said. ANALYST PARES DOWN ORIGINAL SUITOR LIST: In a recent note to clients, SunTrust Robinson analyst Robert Peck posed the question of "If this whole 'live' idea doesn't work, then what is it that gets Twitter to grow?" He pared down his original suitor list for Twitter to account for the Bloomberg report and now sees potential leading bidders including IBM (IBM), Verizon (VZ), Microsoft (MSFT), AT&T (T), Oracle (ORCL), Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) or an international company. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Twitter are down about 12% to $17.42 in morning trading. Shares are down nearly 25% year-to-date. Meanwhile, Salesforce shares have jumped about 6% in early trading to $75.14. TWTR CRM GOOG GOOGL DIS IBM VZ T MSFT ORCL CMCSA CMCSK