Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser said 's could be a good buyer forTwitter Inc.,though other rumored deal partners also might put the social media company'sdata to good use.
Speculation about a possible deal is heating up as a Sept.26 Bloomberg News indicated that Walt Disney Co. is mulling a play for the microblogging platform.CNBC earlier reportedthat both Google and Salesforce.com were interested in Twitter.
"In general, we recognize that investors in Twitterwill look at an acquisition favorably, while investors in any entity whichmight bid for Twitter will look at such a transaction negatively," Wieserwrote in a Sept. 26 research note.
He added: "We remain generally positive oriented aroundTwitter, given its position as the fourth most important seller of digitaladvertising globally outside of China, and argue that the global influence ofthe platform is difficult to match. Although Twitter faces near-termchallenges, its business is durable and could be improved."
The analyst said Twitter could complement Google's variousbusiness lines, and data from the social media platform could be incorporatedinto Google's search results. "We would argue that an acquisition ofTwitter would be far better a use of capital than sitting on cash or oninvesting more in an unrelated business such as, let’s say, Google Fiber orself-driving cars," he wrote.
As for Salesforce.com, Wieser acknowledged that "thelogic behind their interest may be harder to appreciate" but said thatTwitter's data could ultimately be used to enhance Salesforce.com's existingproducts and aid its focus on meeting the needs of marketers. "Still, on ashort-term basis, the two businesses are very different, and investors will beright to question whether or not Salesforce.com needs to own Twitter vs.securing access to it," Wieser added.
As for Disney, Wieser said the company could use Twitter asa news delivery product for ABC(US) and ESPN(US), but such a strategy risks driving non-Disney-owned newsproperties to competitors like Facebook Inc. "However, we can imagine how usagecould hold up or even improve if managed well, meaning that an acquisitioncould still make sense even if many of its contributors relied on the platformless in the future," the analyst said.
Wieser upped his price target on Twitter's stock to $27 pershare from $22 to reflect the increased likelihood of an acquisition of thecompany.