Will The Government Shutdown Kill The Twitter IPO?

Will The Government Shutdown Kill The Twitter IPO?

The Twitter IPO is coming. The Twitter IPO is coming. Or is it? Elliot Markowitz weighs in as only he can.

Take a trip back to me to 1981. Ronald Reagan was president. Chariots of Fire won the Oscar. People everywhere were trying to figure out that darn Rubik’s Cube, and the New York Islanders won Stanley Cup Champs. Also, MTV debuted with a song by the Buggles called “Video Killed the Radio Star”. Where am I going with this?

Sing with me to that famous (or infamous) tune that changed the entire entertainment and music industry.

We’ve wondered if you’d go out at two hundred and two
Be over priced like Facebook and the joke would be on you
But then the market dropped and now you don’t know what to do


Congress can’t agree and where’s the SEC?
It’s hurting industry including technology And now your IPO might be history
You sales are growing
But you’re still owing

Did the government shutdown kill the Twitter IPO?
Did the government shutdown kill the Twitter IPO?
The filing came and broke our hearts
But they can’t rewind, they’ve come too far

Ok, thanks for amusing me. Yes, it’s true, the long anticipated Twitter IPO was officially filed this past week and the timing quite possibly could not be worse. The partial government shutdown has taken its toll on Wall Street, Main Street and probably even Sesame Street to some degree.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down to under 15,000, from its 52-week high of 15,709. That’s a 5 percent decrease. The Nasdaq dropped to under 3,775, off its 52-week high a bit as well. And the bad news is it could get worse if a budget deal is not reached soon because the debt ceiling limit is hanging over head. Not a great time for Twitter or any company for that matter to try and raise money. Twitter is trying to raise $1 billion through its offering.

IPOs have been pulled back before in troubled markets. But should Twitter hit the panic button yet. No. Most would agree the markets were inflated and correction was needed. While this isn’t a true correction yet, it could get their real fast if the government doesn’t get its act together soon.

But Twitter needs the money. Pulling back its books shows the social media is still growing at a good clip generating revenue of $253.6 million for the first six months of the year compared with $122.4 million for the year ago period. According to the filing 87% of its revenue in the first six months of 2013 was from ad sales, compared with 85% during the entire 12 months of 2012. The company generated $316.9 million in revenue in 2012, up 198% from 2011.

But the company is not profitable. Twitter lost a whopping $69.3 million for the first six months, increasing the year-earlier loss of $49.1 million. That’s heading in the wrong direction showing the online ad market continues to come under pricing pressure.

So will the current shutdown cause the market to decline even more? Probably. Will this eventually cause Twitter to pull back its IPO plans? Not likely.

Despite what the Buggles sang more than 30 years ago, the radio star is not dead. In fact, it’s better because we now have satellite radio. We will see how this all plays outs. In the meantime do you remember this from 1981?  May nothing come between you and your Twitter stock.

Knock em Alive!

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