back to article Twitter now worth just a third of what Musk paid for it

Twitter's value continues to decline. Investment firm Fidelity reports that its stake in the bird site has lost value for the third time since Elon Musk took over last October. By Fidelity's account, the company is now worth just a third of the $44 billion Musk paid for it. Fidelity's Blue Chip Growth Fund had an $8.63 million …

  1. VoiceOfTruth

    Lesson on use of the sed command

    echo "The billionaire's purchase of the site required him to get the backing of a number of investors" | sed s'/investors/gullible\ fools/'

    1. Jim Mitchell
      Alien

      Re: Lesson on use of the sed command

      I suspect that the other backers had motives other than making money off this investment. Backing Musk in this venture might get them access to more lucrative deals in the future, etc.

      1. b0llchit Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Lesson on use of the sed command

        You mean, additional tax deductions?

      2. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Lesson on use of the sed command

        Or maybe they liked that he planned to create a safe space for all white supremacists that had been kicked off Twitter in the name of "maximal free speech" (unless you criticize Musk himself of course)

        1. Ace2 Silver badge

          Re: Lesson on use of the sed command

          And for the Saudis, it was a cheap way to get access to all of their dissidents’ DMs

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Lesson on use of the sed command

          Twitter is a lot lot better since Musk took over. The old Twitter refused to accept racism against whites and was so so left wing the the ghost of Stalin stalked.

          I dont use it very much but I havent seen any white supremacists. I seen plenty of black supremacists and a ton of anti-white racist posts though. And I've seen black racist be banned as well. That would never have happened before. They were free to incite white genocide.

          It is much more balanced now. Let's not forget the left have just any many if not more loonies on there than the right. Musk is balancing the loonies. Like you, you Commie.

          1. Matthew "The Worst Writer on the Internet" Saroff

            Re: Lesson on use of the sed command

            For the life of me, I cannot tell if this is sarcasm or not.

            This happens to me so frequently not that I am worried that I might have COVID induced brain fog.

            1. ecofeco Silver badge

              Re: Lesson on use of the sed command

              Without the /s tag, it's not your job to figure it out.

              So don't second guess yourself.

              1. J. Cook Silver badge
                Trollface

                Re: Lesson on use of the sed command

                Indeed; it's generally a courtesy to put that at the end of the comment or even "/sarcasm" to drive home the point, especially since anons can't use the troll icon as demonstrated.

            2. JoeCool Silver badge

              Re: Lesson on use of the sed command

              Sadly, it's impossible to differentiate, these days. I suspect that the "you commie" signoff is the tipoff.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Lesson on use of the sed command

              If you can't tell, most likely it is not.

            4. lotus49

              Re: Lesson on use of the sed command

              I'm almost certain this is serious. I know the opinion stated is so stupid that you'd be forgiven for thinking it was some sort of a clever joke but I suspect it's too clever for whichever coward posted this.

            5. Jedit Silver badge

              "For the life of me, I cannot tell if this is sarcasm or not."

              Don't worry, it's just Poe's Law in action. And the corollary of Poe's Law is that if you can't tell if it is a parody, it may as well be reality.

          2. ecofeco Silver badge

            Re: Lesson on use of the sed command

            You forgot the /s tag.

            You DID forget the /s tag, right?

            RIGHT?

            1. seven of five

              Re: Lesson on use of the sed command

              Yes, the author was certainly VERY RIGHT.

              scnr

          3. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Lesson on use of the sed command

      His backers didn't and don't care about profit, they want control of propaganda. Specifically, hate propaganda.

    3. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Lesson on use of the sed command

      The banks painted themselves into a corner by backing Elon initially and after all of the faffing about the financial landscape had changed and those banks didn't have a ready supply of suckers to purchase the loans giving those banks a nice payday and no forward risk. Elon himself did a bunch of damage through bad-mouthing the company in his attempt to back out of the signed contracts without paying the breakup fee.

      Don't get on the rollercoaster unless you really want the ride.

    4. JoeCool Silver badge

      Re: Lesson on use of the sed command

      not sure about that. those investors take risks / blindly make mistakers like this all of the time. Sino Forrest anyone ? Bre-X, ...

    5. NoneSuch Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Lesson on use of the sed command

      "Thus, messages on accuracy and validity can appear on media to warn people of fake info."

      That's Twitter sorted.

      Next, FOX News.

  2. MajorDoubt
    FAIL

    Just fucking die twitter

    It's just a garbage platform now, just die and get it over with. Who are these fools still using it?

    1. pdh

      Re: Just fucking die twitter

      Definitely some media organizations still use it. I follow sports on a big-name website, and whenever they have an article about somebody making a great golf shot, or hitting a home run, or scoring a touchdown, the article is sure to include a link to a short video clip onTwitter. That's my only use of Twitter (I don't have an account but sometimes I want to see the home run flying out of the park) and I have noticed no change whatsoever in the last nine months.

    2. Orv Silver badge

      Re: Just fucking die twitter

      Journalists are addicted to it. They love the attention, and they love that they can just write about who's tweeting what and then head to the pub instead of having to do actual reporting.

    3. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Just fucking die twitter

      "Who are these fools still using it?"

      News companies use it. I see articles all of the time that are nothing more than copy/paste of Twits (or is that tweets?)

    4. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Just fucking die twitter

      It's just a garbage platform now, just die and get it over with. Who are these fools still using it?

      Me, for one. I follow various service status feeds, various computing related useful information sources, favourite authors, my local councils' announcements, friends, …

      All perfectly fine, zero hassle stuff without ranters, trolls or haters. Twitter is simply a microcosm of life – if you go looking for arseholes, you'll find more arseholes than you wanted, but if you stick to friends, the useful and the thoughtful (and block the arseholes on first contact) you'll find good stuff you didn't know you needed.

      1. Orv Silver badge

        Re: Just fucking die twitter

        I used to feel that way, but Elon has made it explicit that he likes trolls and haters and wants to encourage them. If the owner of the place wants to fill it up with assholes, I'm no longer interested in being there.

  3. b0llchit Silver badge
    Pirate

    I wonder what will be left of the $1010 (*) when all the lawsuits have been decided about twitter not paying their bills. I can imagine that a minus sign will have to be put in front of the number.

    (*)rounded down to take care of inflationary pressure aired at next tweet(s)

    1. Lon24

      I rest content that my 13 user Mastodon instance will, at this rate, be worth than Twitter by year end. I mean the power supply itself must be worth a fiver ... So Elon - if you want to see if you can get it right second time around - I'm open to offers.

    2. Arthur the cat Silver badge
      Happy

      (*)rounded down to take care of inflationary pressure aired at next tweet(s)

      Call it Fermi Estimation, it sounds more impressive.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ...

    It is said that an accountant is a person who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

    It looks like Elon fails at even that.

    1. Blank Reg

      Re: ...

      At the rate he's failing he may reach trumpian levels of failure

  5. DS999 Silver badge

    Can't believe Musk thinks it could be worth 10x what he paid

    Driving away advertisers and users doesn't seem to be the way to accomplish that, though that has a better chance of success (i.e. if it becomes the social media home base for all the MAGA types like him) than his stupid idea of the "everything app". Even the most dyed in the wool true believer is not going to trust Musk with all their banking, shopping, personal messaging and so forth.

    Dunno why he can't let go of that idiotic wet dream from his "x.com" days.

    1. John Smith 12345

      Re: Can't believe Musk thinks it could be worth 10x what he paid

      "i.e. if it becomes the social media home base for all the MAGA types like him"

      better that than the pseudo KGB commie left-wing hellhole it was before. But it isn't, is it? It is still full of Antifa-type far-left Commies and they still love it. What they don't like is that they can longer silence opposing thoughts with the ease they had before.

      I no Musk fan, but you've got to admit he has got style. Anyway, the balanced Twitter is just a short-term thing. The new CEO is lefter than Stalin. Don't worry, you will be able to go back to blaming white men for everything soon.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Can't believe Musk thinks it could be worth 10x what he paid

        but you've got to admit he has got style

        No he doesn't, he's a nutcase. No one would listen to a thing he said if he wasn't worth $100 billion. He's changed so much over the past few years that either he decided he no longer needed to hide who he really was or he's suffering from some sort of mental illness or brain damage. I wonder more and more if he's had one of those neuralink brain implants installed and that's why he's go so far off the deep end.

        1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

          Re: Can't believe Musk thinks it could be worth 10x what he paid

          or he's suffering from some sort of mental illness or brain damage

          Heavy drugs use and isolation from reality-checkers who'll say "No, that's a bloody stupid idea" will do that. I'm surprised there aren't more Muskian Downfall parodies.

      2. Jedit Silver badge
        FAIL

        "I no Musk fan, but you've got to admit he has got style."

        To quote someone on Twitter who actually does have style: you do not, under any circumstances, "have to hand it to him".

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Can't believe Musk thinks it could be worth 10x what he paid

        Yes, lack of insight coupled to lack of self-restraint will produce this.

      4. bigphil9009

        Re: Can't believe Musk thinks it could be worth 10x what he paid

        Ahh, now we know who posted the AC comment above!

    2. breakfast Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Can't believe Musk thinks it could be worth 10x what he paid

      I don't believe he thinks that, I believe he thinks that after making his ridiculous offer for it, he couldn't wiggle out without drawing a lot of attention from the SEC. That could have ended up with a sad little Lone Skum in a prison cell somewhere and although that would be hilarious for the rest of us and almost certainly work wonders for SpaceX and Tesla, he believed that it was worth spending a truly implausible money to avoid that. Some of his backers saw a great opportunity to get rid of Twitter as a force for global information sharing by supporting him and here we are.

  6. Howard Sway Silver badge

    It will suck to return to a Twitter experience that doesn't have Block Party as a filter

    This is erroneously assuming that there is now a worthwhile "Twitter experience" possible without encountering trolls. Trolling is now its chief purpose, so just block the entire site.

    Even better, offer a paid $10 a month "green tick" service to individual twitter users, where you check they're NOT trolls and add an exception to allow access to their account. Musk would like that.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: It will suck to return to a Twitter experience that doesn't have Block Party as a filter

      "Even better, offer a paid $10 a month "green tick" service to individual twitter users,"

      So not only are you the product if you use the service, you have to pay them too?

      Excuse me, I'm heading out to the garden for some peace and a pint.

      1. Howard Sway Silver badge

        Re: It will suck to return to a Twitter experience that doesn't have Block Party as a filter

        I should have been clearer : I was suggesting that Block Party should offer the service, there's no way I'd trust Musk with deciding wh's a troll and who isn't.

  7. jmch Silver badge

    Crazy valuation??

    Pre-Musk Twitter was losing money fast and was apparently worth $30-something bn.

    Surely if they're approaching break-even it's financially healthier?

    Valuation seems to be based on wishful thinking of being able to monetize number of users sometime in the future rather than on current income and cash flow.

    Buying Twitter for $44bn was insane, but if Twitter can keep running with half the user base but 10% of the workforce it surely is more profitable and therefore more valuable?

    1. Alistair
      Windows

      Re: Crazy valuation??

      @jmch:

      There are additional costs now, something called "Interest Payments", and things like "Unpaid Bills" and fallout in the form of "Lawsuits for Unpaid Bills and missed Interest Payments".

      Its a spiral, and since the puffball of value was so outrageously high when it started, its going to take a while before it plows face first into the basement floor.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Crazy valuation??

      I'm not sure how much it will be worth when they're thrown out of their buildings and, worse, out of the data centres for not paying their bills.

    3. Snake Silver badge

      Re: break even

      There's no use in working towards the accounting construct of "break even" if doing so makes the product unsellable. A hand-built Ford Focus ST selling for $85,000 might be the "break even" point but nobody would buy it, still making it a massive loss.

      Firing employees only managed to create a downward death spiral. With less ability to moderate toxicicity, less network stability, and less ability to improve the interface, Musk will only lose both users and the advertisers that target them. Which will lead to more budget cuts in an attempt to seek that reduced break even point. Rinse, repeat, sign off time.

    4. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Crazy valuation??

      "Surely if they're approaching break-even it's financially healthier?"

      Not surely at all. Consider two situations:

      Situation 1: You have a full-time job and you earn a nice salary, but you have expensive tastes and have spent a lot of money on stuff you didn't really need. As a result, you find yourself in debt in order to afford your living expenses.

      Situation 2: You have no job but you occasionally find money on the street, and you've identified some places where food is quite cheap. So far, nobody has interfered with the cardboard box in which you live, along with your meager savings.

      The person from situation 2 is not only breaking even, but is turning a profit. Their situation is not better than the person in situation 1. If something bad happens, the person in the first situation is much more likely to be able to handle that, and they're also more likely to be able to fix their debt situation than the other person is to consistently maintaining those savings.

      As this applies to Twitter, let's assume that somehow they are at a break-even position, which I doubt. They need not only to maintain that but to start turning a profit so they can pay for the things that allow them to keep existing. If they've reached their financial situation by cutting a lot of expenses, they run the risk that some of those expenses weren't as unnecessary as they thought, because if their systems fail, they will no longer be earning any revenue. Maybe they'll be able to run their systems on the payroll they have now and they'll continue to get advertisers to pay them, but if either of those fails, they may find that their break-even position has turned into a loss-making position when they weren't expecting it.

      1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

        Re: Crazy valuation??

        "The person from situation 2 is not only breaking even, but is turning a profit. Their situation is not better than the person in situation 1."

        It's a fine way to learn my frugality is a losing strategy.

        1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

          Re: Crazy valuation??

          It's a fine way to learn my frugality is a losing strategy.

          It's scale dependent. As the old saying goes, you owe the bank £1 thousand, you've got problems, you owe the bank £1 billion, the bank's got problems.

        2. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Crazy valuation??

          Frugality is still a good idea, because a person who has all the same things as the situation 1 guy but doesn't have debt is better than both. Frugality, though, can go to a level where it is harming you. To pick an obvious example, if you were so frugal that you neglected your own health, then you'll find out that repairing medical problems is a lot more expensive than preventing them.

          My simplistic financial advice: avoid debt when you can because it's quite dangerous, but if things are bad enough, there are things that are even more dangerous. This leads to very different results based on your needs, income, and career potential, and some of it will be subjective. The same advice applies to companies as well; a company can refuse to spend on everything and have a nice balance statement for a while, but it's likely to cause problems as time goes on.

      2. lotus49

        Re: Crazy valuation??

        Many years ago, a friend of mine said that any sentence that starts with the word "surely" goes on to say something that is absolute nonsense. In the 30 years since he said that to me, his dictum has proved to be correct every time.

        1. Jedit Silver badge
          Joke

          "his dictum has proved to be correct every time"

          Particularly the part about not calling him Shirley.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Crazy valuation??

          Surely.

  8. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Vanity Pair

    Coincidentally, the latest issue of Private Eye (#1599) 2 June-15 June, mentions Twitter/Musk under the above title...

    Research from the Pew Institute suggesting that "a quarter of Twitter's current users are "not very" or "not at all" likely to still be using the platform in a year"

    ..."the same research found that mentions of "Elon Musk" have doubled since he bought the platform."

    1. Zolko Silver badge

      Re: Vanity Pair

      i think that's the crux of the matter: the article's author doesn't understand the difference between "value" and "price". I can very well imagine that Twitter is much more valuable for Musk now than it was 1 year ago. Those 44 000 000 000$ he paid for it were not his anyway, they weren't in his pocket, he played with other – guillible – people's money. Musk didn't loose any real money on Twitter and got a worldwide propaganda platform in exchange: seems like a good deal to me.

      1. Jedit Silver badge
        Stop

        "the article's author doesn't understand the difference between "value" and "price""

        While El Reg writers are frequently cynical, I've never held Wilde's maxim in high esteem.

        And I don't think Musk has made a good deal here. They say no publicity is bad publicity, but in this case Musk has made himself visible as an idiot, notorious as untrustworthy in business, and has made enemies of people rich enough to spare billions on an investment. His downfall has not arrived yet, but it's surely coming.

        1. Zolko Silver badge

          Re: "the article's author doesn't understand the difference between "value" and "price""

          Musk's fortune is largely virtual, it consists mostly of hot air highly valued by other people, also called a "speculative bubble". What Musk did was to partially exit the bubble and convert some of that virtual fortune in a real asset : a worldwide propaganda platform. The difficulty with speculative bubbles is to exit before they implode and that's what he did.

    2. Timop

      Re: Vanity Pair

      So in Elon's eyes it is +100% because of the increased mentions?

  9. Dippywood

    Linda Yaccarino's GoFundMe Page

    Would it raise $10K before that's all that Twitter is worth?

  10. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I thought a blue chip share as one which was a reliable money maker. AFAIK Twitter never was that so why did Fidelity put it in such a fund?

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Originally, as applied to stocks, it meant simply high-priced shares. One example cited by the OED:

      1874 San Francisco Chron. 5 Jan. 2/2 If times are good and the market flourishing, the game may be played with ‘blue chips’, as a gambler would say, the very high-priced stocks being the favourites.

      Later it was frequently used to mean large-cap stocks for firms that had been around long enough to have weathered at least one downturn, and often to mean stocks that reliably paid dividends and so were good long-term investments.

      I don't think Twitter ever satisfied any of those definitions, so your point stands, I think.

  11. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    Oh.

    Dear.

    How.

    Sad.

    Never.

    Mind

  12. Winkypop Silver badge
    Meh

    I’m not sure Elon could run a bath

    He really is the Emperor of hubris.

    He clearly believes his own press releases.

  13. fpx
    Pint

    Break Even

    Must mean that there is an even chance of it breaking completely.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    interesting

    I find it odd that people pay $8 a month, to advertise that they are right wing arseholes.

  15. willfe

    The Seething is Real

    Before the acquisition, Twitter was "the most important platform in history" and "immeasurably valuable," and letting a monster like [person we previously all worshipped for building electric cars, LEO satellite internet, SpaceX, etc.] Elon "He Talked to Trump Once" Musk buy it would represent a terrible crime against humanity.

    Now that he's paid for it, Musk is dumb, an idiot, a fool, and a soon-to-be permanently-embarrassed millionaire and Twitter is, of course, a "dying platform" and we should just "let it die." It's horrible that he fired a big chunk of employees from the company, but rah-rah we're rooting for the company to fail (leading to the firing of thousands more) so we can laugh at a billionaire (who we used to like) losing money on an investment.

    It's worthless, untrustworthy and "dangerous" in some vague, ill-defined fashion, but naturally everyone's still using it, of course. That awful, horrible, life-threatening "pay for your vanity badge" decision, which will singlehandedly ruin Twitter and will lead to a mass exodus from the service has resulted in countless users ... paying for their vanity badges and complaining about it ... on Twitter.

    I love all the impotent rage over this. Remember lads, if you don't like it, go build your own! Or try to co-opt another one (a tall order since every "not-Twitter Twitter" has been smeared as some kind of hate platform and is barely allowed to even exist despite breaking no laws). Oh wait ... you tried that, but the fediverse laughed you arrogant nutters back to the hug box.

    1. BoldMan

      Re: The Seething is Real

      > [person we previously all worshipped for building electric cars, LEO satellite internet, SpaceX, etc.]

      if you previously worshipped him for this then you were as gullible as the fools who invested in this debacle!

      1. FeepingCreature Bronze badge

        Re: The Seething is Real

        I sometimes feel I'm the only person whose opinion of Musk *or* Twitter has been pretty much entirely unaffected by Musk buying Twitter? I've always thought of him of "free thinker that occasionally sees clever market holes that other people miss and has the gumption to go for them, and at other times makes hilarious unforced mistakes."

        And of course Twitter always was a shithole. It's no less or more a shithole now.

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: The Seething is Real

      Twitter was "the most important platform in history" and "immeasurably valuable,"

      Plenty of people never believed this bullshit. I didn't, and neither did many Reg regulars.

      person we previously all worshipped

      "we ... all" who? Again, plenty of folks here calling him out for being an arrogant ass long before the Twitter debacle.

      Now that he's paid for it, Musk is dumb, an idiot, a fool

      True before, true now.

      naturally everyone's still using it

      No, not everyone.

      You seem to have a rather dramatic inability to perceive reality.

    3. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: The Seething is Real

      "a monster like [person we previously all worshipped for building electric cars, LEO satellite internet, SpaceX, etc."

      This is where you failed. Actually, you failed right at the start with Twitter being the most important platform, but I'm assuming that was mockery. Yes, some people did appear to have a cult of personality around Musk. I was not one of them. It always struck me as weird and off-putting, but at least I respected Musk for Spacex, because I thought that was a good goal and at least he was managing to let others accomplish it. Not so much with Starlink, as whenever someone mentioned some of the problems with it, some Musk fan would come along to explain why nothing else could do it, the marvelous humanitarian advantages we wouldn't get, etc. And of course there were a lot of strong opinions about Musk from people who had strong opinions on electric cars, and those opinions happened to be direct mirrors of one another. I neither loved nor hated him consistently, although he's been doing increasingly more annoying things for many years before the Twitter fiasco which isn't helping. Fortunately for me, I haven't used Twitter so it doesn't directly affect me if he breaks it. For those who do use Twitter more frequently, I can't blame them for being annoyed as someone trashes something they used to like.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Seething is Real

      sorry to burst your bubble, some of us always knew he was a lying twat.

  16. t245t Silver badge
    Alien

    It's not about the dollar value.

    It's not about the dollar value, more about Twitters percieved influence. Hence the various government agencies beinng given backdoor access to "private" direct messages. The MSM are also peeved as Twitter under Musk is no longer their play-thing.

  17. Richard Pennington 1
    Holmes

    How to acquire a small software company

    Many years ago (1980s), I was at an otherwise forgettable meeting presided over by my (then) employer's management. There was one memorable line delivered that day:

    Do you know how to acquire a small software company? Buy a large one.

    Nearly 40 years ago, and still true.

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