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Twitter Stock Soars As Tesla CEO Elon Musk Reveals ‘Passive’ 9.2% Stake

Elon Musk, who has been ‘seriously considering’ forming his own social media company, now owns a 9.2% stake in Twitter.

Twitter  (TWTR) – Get Twitter, Inc. Report shares soared higher Monday after billionaire Tesla  (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc Report CEO Elon Musk unveiled a passive stake in the group following his criticism of the micro-blogging website’s content rules.

Papers filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed Musk now owns a 9.2% stake in Twitter, dated as of March 14. Wedbush analysts Dan Ives said the stake could be the precursor to a full-blown takeover bid for the San Francisco-based group, which has a market value of around $32 billion.

Late last month, Musk said he was giving ‘serious thought” to starting his own social media company, and accused Twitter of “failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy” given that the site “serves as the de facto public town square.”

Twitter said earlier this year that its average monetizable daily active users, its term for the number of daily users who can view ads, were pegged at 217 million for the final three months of 2021, but that figure only included a 1 million gain of U.S.-based users. 

Twitter shares were marked 25.6% higher in pre-market trading immediately following publication of Musk’s stake, indicating an opening bell price of $49.40 each. 

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Twitter said non-GAAP earnings for the three months ending in December were pegged at 33 cents per share, down 13.1% from the same period last year and 2 cents shy of the Street consensus forecast. Group revenues rose 22% to $1.57 billion, matching Street forecasts, with $1.47 billion coming from its advertising division.

Looking into the coming year, Twitter said it sees revenue growth in the “low to mid 20% range” and held onto its 2021 guidance that sees $7.5 billion in revenues and 315 million daily active users by 2023.

Late last year, Late last year, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey stepped down as CEO of the group to make way for former CTO Parag Agrawal.

Dorsey will remain on the board until at least 2022, the company said, with Bret Taylor becoming independent chairman.

Dorsey, 36, co-founded Twitter in 2006 but was forced out as CEO two years later. He was brought back in 2015, however, in a effort to re-boot growth — and tackle online abuse — amid the social media group’s growing global influence.

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