Twit­ter is on pace to be big­gest loser in S&P 500

Business Standard - - WORLD - LILY KATZ BLOOMBERG

Twit­ter just seized a ti­tle no com­pany wants: the worst per­former in the S&P 500 In­dex. Its shares­dropped about 35 per­cent in third-quar­ter trad­ing, which ended Fri­day — worse than every other com­pany in the in­dex.

Twit­ter’s tough quar­ter was set off by a dis­ap­point­ing earn­ings re­port. The stock plunged the most in four years af­ter the firm said in July that monthly users had dropped by 1 mil­lion in the sec­ond quar­ter and pre­dicted fur­ther de­clines as it fights against spam, fake ac­counts and ma­li­cious rhetoric. Shares sunk fur­ther ear­lier this month af­ter an an­a­lyst at Mof­fet­tNathanson flagged “smoke and mir­rors” in the com­pany’s ex­pense re­port­ing.

Short in­ter­est has risen to al­most 8 per­cent of float, ac­cord­ing to data from fi­nan­cial-an­a­lyt­ics firm S3 Part­ners. Twit­ter share prices (in $) Aug 29,’18 Sep 28,’18 38 34 30 26 That com­pares with less than 5 per­cent at the end of July.

Mean­while, Twit­ter CEO Jack Dorsey’s other com­pany has been on fire. Shares of Square closed at a record high Fri­day, fin­ish­ing the quar­ter as the sec­ond-best per­former in the Rus­sell 1000 In­dex.

The worst quar­terly per­form­ers in the S&P 500 af­ter Twit­ter are IPG Pho­ton­ics with a 29 per cent drop and Western Dig­i­tal with a 24 per cent de­cline.

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