Twitter’s Selloff Is a Lifelong Investing Lesson

The decline in TWTR stock has created a short-term opportunity

TWTR stock - Twitter’s Selloff Is a Lifelong Investing Lesson

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In July alone, Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) lost a quarter of its value, dragging its shares down to around $32 versus a 52-week high of about $47.

Much of that decline came toward the end of the month when the social media company reported second-quarter earnings that showed a drop in its monthly active users. In the wake of the results, TWTR stock suffered its worst one-day loss since 2014.

TWTR Stock Rout Creates a Good Entry Point

I don’t have long-term faith in Twitter the way I do in Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), despite the latter’s recent controversy and similarly outsize post-earnings tumble. That’s because Twitter doesn’t dominate the advertising industry nearly as much as Facebook does. Still, I think the drop in TWTR stock offers a good entry point for a short-term trade, and thus it also provides a lesson in comparing competitors and investing strategies.

In the world of tech, it’s tempting and common to zoom in on a segment of the industry and try to pick a winner, whether we’re talking about the race to a $1 trillion market cap, the battle for cloud supremacy or chatter about the coolest social media platform.

That approach is a decent short-cut if you want long-term exposure to just one company in whatever slice of the market you’ve zoomed in on. But nuance is missed using that method.

A company could technically be in third place (or fourth or fifth) in a market and, as a result, be considered a “loser.” But plenty of so-called losers have upside, especially after a dramatic selloff.

For instance, analysis of social media often focuses myopically on whether certain apps are losing popularity with teens. These conversations tend to miss whether particular trends or competitors are reflected in the stock’s valuation already.

In its supposedly terrible second quarter, Twitter posted earnings that were in line with Wall Street’s expectations and reported better-than-expected revenue. Thus, it’s not like the company’s fundamentals have eroded.

Twitter is expected to grow its earnings by 60% this year and by an average of 34% annually in each of the next five years. The sharp decline of TWTR stock is a perfect example of an overreaction by the market that spells opportunity for savvy investors, despite the fact that Twitter is far from being in-line to “win” the social media battle.

Indeed, after the selloff, Nomura Instinet upgraded TWTR stock, saying that the decline had reset investor expectations, CNBC reported. Similarly, consider this assessment reported in U.S. News and World Report: “Barclays analyst Ross Sandler … says second-quarter numbers and third-quarter guidance don’t necessarily kill the long-term bull thesis.”

Why TWTR Stock Is a Better Short-Term Investment

I personally see more potential in TWTR stock in the near-term, since expectations for the company have slid and the stock has gotten cheaper.

I don’t love it over the long-term because, quite frankly, I’m skeptical of ad-driven businesses unless they’re one of the big two: Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGNASDAQ:GOOGL) or Facebook. As someone who works in media, I’ve witnessed first-hand the decline in display rates and would rather bet on numerous other business models — especially with so many startups adding social components to their businesses and vying for users’ attention.

But that’s where the nuance comes in. There’s money to be made from companies that you don’t want to hold forever. The recent slide of TWTR stock and the subsequent opportunity that’s come to light is a prime example.

As of this writing, Robert Martin was long FB.

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