Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) Stock Sold By Smart Money at Harvard, Yale

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Twitter Inc does not imbue confidence in traders. Now America’s smartest schools have given the micro-blogging firm a low-grade. Harvard, Yale and Stanford universities have sold a major chunk of their stake in Twitter as the firm continues to struggle with user growth and other issues.

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More investors abandon Twitter

Over the last quarter, Yale University sold all its 34,345 Twitter shares, which were worth around $1m at Monday’s stock price. The University has a $23.9bn endowment fund. While the richest university on the planet with $36.4bn fund, Harvard sold 29,856 shares in April and June. Stanford with endowment fund worth $21.4bn, sold 18,000 shares, according to the regulatory filing compiled by Bloomberg.

Problems for Twitter seems to be unending. For the last quarter, the firm posted its slowest user growth ever since going public in 2013. Though the management was not happy with it, they said during the earnings conference call that it would take some time to re-accelerate user growth. Those  comments from the firm dropped the investors’ confidence further.

CEO search still nor over?

Twitter is also in-search for a permanent CEO, and the wait does not seem to get over. However, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey last week said the firm could name the new CEO as soon as next week.

“While we have previously written that we thought a permanent CEO decision would occur right after Labor Day, we now think that the decision is more imminent,” Humphrey said.

The analyst believes Triumvirate Structure is the best option for the firm. Under this structure, Jack Dorsey would be given the CEO post, while Adam Bain should be made COO/President, and Evan Williams could be offered a senior position on board such as Chairman.

Brain drain, the only constant thing among turmoil

Amid all this turmoil, one thing constant for Twitter is the brain drain. Within a week, the firm’s product department lost three key executives. Earlier, VP product management Christian Oestlien announced his plan to join YouTube. Todd Jackson, in charge of Twitter’s content and discovery team, is moving to Dropbox. Trevor O’Brien, who is in charge of Twitter’s mobile apps, is leaving as well.

A report from Motley Fool claims the departures were announced internally even before the earnings, but it is not clear if the recent departures are brought on by the management. Many of the firm’s leaders, especially founder and interim CEO Jack Dorsey, are not very happy with the existing product.

Since April, Twitter shares have declined by 44%. In pre-market trading today, the stock is down 0.40% at $28.94. Year to date, shares are down almost 19% while in the last one-year, they are down over 35%.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both marketing and Finance side. He has work as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, playing PC games and cricket.


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