Twitter's stock slumps again as buyout interest reportedly cools

Twitter Inc.’s stock fell sharply Monday amid speculation that potential buyers of the unprofitable social media company were losing interest in a pursuing a deal.

Twitter fell 11.5% to close at $17.56 after Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, reported over the weekend that possible bidders were stepping back. Earlier on Monday, the shares were down more than 14%. 

Those potential bidders reportedly have included Alphabet Inc.’s Google unit, Walt Disney Co., Salesforce.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and others, although no bona fide buyout offers have materialized.

Rumors of a potential takeover bid had driven Twitter’s stock to nearly $25 a share last week. With the stock’s decline since then, the company’s total stock market value is about $12 billion.

Twitter said it had an average of 313 million monthly users in the second quarter, but the San Francisco company has reported substantial losses in the last five years.

The company lost $521 million last year on revenue of $2.22 billion. However, Twitter said its non-GAAP results, which exclude stock-based compensation awarded to employees and other expenses, resulted in net income of $277 million.

Salesforce.com is a major provider of marketing software, and Marc Benioff, its chairman and chief executive, is celebrated for his philanthropy and social activism. The acquisition of Twitter’s worldwide platform could significantly elevate their exposure.

Read more: Owning Twitter could bring new power to Salesforce and its influence-seeking CEO »

But during a Salesforce investor conference last week, some investors told Benioff and other executives that they were not pleased with the idea of purchasing Twitter, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources.

Any offer probably would have to be be priced well above Twitter’s market value of $12 billion.

Salesforce’s stock climbed 5.9%  to $75.10 a share on Monday.

Salesforce lost $47.4 million on revenue of $6.7 billion in its fiscal year that ended Jan. 31, although the company reported net income of $507 million for the year on a non-GAAP basis.

james.peltz@latimes.com

For more business news, follow James F. Peltz on Twitter: @PeltzLATimes

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UPDATES:

1:40 p.m.: This article was updated with the stocks’ closing prices.

8:40 a.m.: This article was updated with a more recent stock price, as well as details about Salesforce.com and its interest in Twitter.

This article was originally published at 8:10 a.m.

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