Twitter on the Hot Seat

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Tweet word on shelf

Twitter (TWTR) is making news on multiple fronts today, and none of it is looking good.

First comes the news that Twitter will post their quarterly earnings report on Thursday at 7 AM Eastern Time. That is unusual to such an extreme that it has sparked a firestorm of rumors about the reason – and most of them are not in any way positive.

Earnings reports from giant companies like Twitter are almost always followed up by conference calls with analysts, so they are normally scheduled once the trading day ends, in order not to take analysts away from what is happening during live trading. To have the report take place when East Coast market related workers are probably just getting up, is simply bizarre.

Particularly when you consider how many market related workers are actually on the West Coast, where it will be 4 am. If the decision on timing was an attempt to drop negative information without notice, then it has failed miserably. It grabbed everyone’s attention immediately.

The timing is also not going to do Twitter any favors by making the day longer for the people responsible for rating the company’s stock. Who is making these decisions?

If that weren’t enough, Bloomberg published a report saying that Twitter was expected to lay off about 300 workers before the end of the month, which is the equivalent of about 8% of its workforce. The news, bad enough in itself, is particularly notable in light of the fact that Twitter laid off 336 workers last October.

That was also equivalent to about 8% of the company’s workforce, which makes it look like Twitter goes through a regular cycle of expanding and decreasing its workforce by the same amount on an annual basis. Which is strange, to say the least.

Renowned investor Bill Miller lays the blame squarely at the top, criticizing co-founder Jack Dorsey for being CEO while also trying to run Square. Miller went on popular CNBC show Halftime Report yesterday and said, “It is insane to have Jack Dorsey be a part-time CEO at a company with the issues that Twitter has.”

 

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