Twitter Inc (TWTR) Drops on Analyst's M&A Downer

Twitter Inc (TWTR) is dipping after a Susquehanna analyst rained on its M&A parade

by Celeste Taylor

Published on Oct 4, 2016 at 11:58 AM

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is having a rough day today, after brokerage firm Susquehanna said the social media stock's likely takeover price would range between $17-$26 -- suggesting additional upside could be limited for shareholders, as TWTR settled Monday at $24. In addition, Susquehanna analyst Shyam Patil urged TWTR to sell itself soon, before losing any additional market share to rivals like Instagram and Snapchat. Although rumors have been swirling about several potential suitors, including Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) -- which is also rumored to have streaming service Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) in its crosshairs -- no concrete reports of bids or negotiations have surfaced yet.

So far today, TWTR is down 1.8% at $23.56, putting the social media stock down 16.3% year-over-year. An M&A-inspired bull gap in late September helped bump the shares above the $21 level, which had capped a mid-August rally -- but TWTR shares are still trading well below their 52-week high of $31.87, touched last October.

From a broader sentiment perspective, options traders have taken a strong interest in TWTR lately. Option open interest is in the 99th percentile of its annual range, with the October 20 put emerging as the top front-month strike. In general, puts are more popular than usual in the options pits relative to calls, with TWTR's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.49 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) sitting in the 91st percentile of its annual range.

Option bulls shouldn't despair just yet, though. TWTR's 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) of 74 sits in overbought territory, suggesting the stock may have simply been due for a short-term consolidation. In fact, Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) has outperformed the greater S&P 500 Index (SPX) by over 34 percentage points in the last three months.

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