back to article X says it's only worth $19B after year of Muskmanagement

The financial state of X, formerly Twitter, has remained cloudy since Elon Musk purchased it a little over a year ago, but internal documents are shedding some light on how much the company believes its worth. It's a far cry from the $44 billion Musk paid for Twitter, now valued at just $19 billion. While no longer a public …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Burn, baby, burn

    What is that called again ?

    Ah yes, the Bonfire of Vanities.

    And with this abject failure, His Muskiness will have learned nothing.

    The banks, on the other hand . . .

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Burn, baby, burn

      The banks, on the other hand . . .

      You'd think they would be wary of doing business with out-of-touch narcissitic manbabies after all the various Trump shenanigans..

  2. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    My offer

    Fifty cents. Cash.

    Then I can shut it down.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: My offer

      Careful: Musk might accept. Think of what you are buying.

      $13B of debt - that money was lent to X holdings which merged with Twitter, not to Musk directly.

      Various unpaid bills from former employees, landlords, suppliers and anyone else Musk thought he could stiff.

      A collection of fines for privacy violations and spreading disinformation.

      Responsibility for compliance with consent decrees. Twitter Version 1 evaded some legal consequences by signing consent decrees: promises to do better, monitor performance and report results back to US courts. The people originally responsible for compliance left when Musk bought Twitter. Getting that stuff wrong could land you in prison.

      Part of the last sale was that if X sues former Twitter executives, X has to pay their legal fees. Do you really want to pay Musk's legal fees?

      Musk lost a fortune by not doing due diligence. So far his lawyers have kept more serious consequences at bay. What sort of legal representation can you afford?

  3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    $ 19 x 10^9, really?

    There is still a lot of creative accounting going on here, presumably to to avoid any allegations of fraud by creditors until the bankrupt plan is ready.

    Somewhat surprised by the traffic numbers to be honest but would expect the decline to have accelerated over recent months as some noteworthy figures jump ship, either because they're annoyed by all the crap, or because they notice subscribers moving elsewhere.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: $ 19 x 10^9, really?

      That's a valuation based on stock he's letting employees buy. No doubt they are significantly overvaluing it, so that any suckers employees who buy it are merely giving it some more cash to hang on a little longer before Musk drives it fully into the ground.

      1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

        Re: $ 19 x 10^9, really?

        For the real valuation, you need to consider the current debt and other liabilities.

        So the real value is around USD 0.50

  4. Howard Sway Silver badge

    If Musk wanted to build traffic to his social media, there must have been a cheaper and easier way

    He could have set up an Elon Musk Fan Club online, given away a free Tesla Model 3 to the first half a million people to sign up and still lost less than $25 billion.

  5. MrAptronym

    Doing better than expected?

    I am actually surprised the user bleed has been so small. I left twitter on Musk-Day and while twitter was always a hellsite, it sounds way worse now. Even being marginally more toxic or less user friendly should have been enough to kill it.

    I guess twitter has always been a smaller, niche site, more important for its use by politicos and media types than for the actual user reach. As long as it has that still, it will shamble along?

    1. breakfast Silver badge

      Re: Doing better than expected?

      I don't think it does still have that - most of the media-adjacent people I used to follow there are either migrating to Bluesky (which is currently much better but being the same kind of app run by the same kind of people, with the same lack of business model, will inevitably end up in the same kind of mess) or just dropping off social media altogether. The last few weeks have shown how little use it now has for keeping up with news on the ground - it is very hard to identify reputable sources (ironically not having a blue-tick is more likely to indicate reliability these days) and the whole place generally feels shabby and run-down.

      I used to be a heavy Twitter user, but now I drop in once or twice a day and mostly stay clear - which may count as a small way in which Mr Musk has improved my life, I'm sure my old usage patterns weren't healthy.

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Doing better than expected?

      Really. Still at 81% of its former US user base? I really do not understand these people. But then I've never seen the attraction of Twitter. I see Twitter messages cited frequently in articles that I read, and I never feel that I've lost anything by not seeing them earlier in their natural habitat.

  6. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Worth

    That's like quintillion Roubles now?

    Musk will be able to buy himself a nice dacha for all terrorist Russian propaganda he is allowing on the platform.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Worth

      Since he allows that propaganda for ideological reasons, the Kremlin get free access, unfortunately...

  7. gecho

    Investors

    I'm sure plenty of authoritarian governments would love a stake in return for certain concessions. Monitoring of citizens, suppression of undesirable facts, elevation of alternative facts.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Investors

      You need practice thinking like an authoritarian. Instead of paying money you hint at what you want a court order to say and one will be issued promptly. Old Twitter challenged such orders in local courts regularly. For a functional democracy Musk will make an excuse and do nothing but for an authoritarian Musk will censor whatever you want.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Investors

      The Saudis already have a stake. They lent Musk some of the money to buy it.

  8. PhilipN Silver badge

    Still the World's richest

    He's supposed to care?

    1. aerogems Silver badge

      Re: Still the World's richest

      Yes. His entire image is based on this incorrect notion that he's some kind of master businessman. People tend to forget about his time at PayPal, where they had to kick him to the curb, and focus only on Tesla... which was already a company before he came along. He's cultivated this myth that he founded the company (he didn't) and singlehandedly is responsible for its success (he isn't). Now that people have gotten a good look at his incompetent fumblings at Twitter, where he hasn't managed to do a single thing correctly in the year since he took over, people are going to look at his handling of things at Tesla differently. That matters because he is absolutely leveraged up to his eyeballs. I forget the exact number, but I want to say it's something like 80% of his Tesla shares are already spoken for in one way or another. He even made the stupid and risky move of using some of his Tesla shares as collateral on stock option purchases. He's one margin call away from his own personal Black Friday.

      And he's been running a pump and dump scam on the Tesla stock basically ever since he took over. He's even flat out admitted to it on Twitter. If the SEC starts poking around, looking at some of his other tweets as potential forms of market manipulation, is entire net worth could go poof pretty much overnight.

      1. Probie

        Re: Still the World's richest

        In a world crying out for some good news this would be #1.

  9. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I just don't see how Musk ever thinks he can make it worth what he paid for it never mind grow the business to be worth more than $44bn without the advertisers?

    As they will never be enough people willing to pay for what Twitter offers to make money from subscriptions. Personally i wouldnt be willing to pay for access to any social media app. But no doubt a lot of people would if they were told they would get locked out of Instagram, Facebook or Tiktok if they didnt sign up for a subscription as they spend hours on these every day. But for access to Twitter, i think most people would just go meh, oh well never mind ill use something else, if they had to pay.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Subscription is just a stop-gap

      The real money is from the everything app. The idea is to replace adverts with purchase buttons. One click tells the vendor your address and what to send. The balance shown on the vendor's bank of X account increases by a little less than the amount the purchaser's decreases. No actual money changes hands - Musk already spent it. Everyone will sign up and put their life savings into X because they do not want to miss out on the high interest rate that shows on account balances.

      Musk genuinely believes he can succeed because he knows he is much smarter than Sam Bankman-Fried. He has all the proof he needs because he is certain IQ is measured in dollars.

  10. aerogems Silver badge
    FAIL

    I Still Call Shenanigans

    Unless he opens the Twitter books, there is absolutely no way in hell that I will ever believe they are anywhere near break even, let alone profitable. The only way that pencils out with advertisers fleeing in droves is if you basically ignore almost everything in the liabilities column. Like the money owed to landlords, other vendors, former employees, etc. Even if every single person using Twitter signed up for a blue check, it wouldn't be enough revenue, and we all know that's not happening. The world thinks SBF is responsible for the world's biggest financial scam but it'll look downright paltry once the bubble pops on Tesla stock and the SEC finally goes after Twitler for the pump and dump scam he's been running at that company for years now. I can understand the SEC being asleep at the switch during the Trump years, but there's no reason this shit should still be going on.

    Also, I'm kind of surprised El Reg didn't report on the fact that Mr. Work-From-The-Office Twitler, and the "CEO" both called in remotely from somewhere else. Everyone else is expected to show up to the disgusting offices that probably will need to be cleaned with a blowtorch once Twitter's evicted, but of course they can call in from wherever they want.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Work from the office

      Perhaps Musk has to work from home because he is 'late' paying his personal security staff.

  11. Snowy Silver badge
    Joke

    20 Billion

    still worth that much, I am surprised!

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: 20 Billion

      Fidelity have to come up with a reasonably objective measure of the value of their investments for their shareholders. As they have (had?) a stake in Twitter that gives us a number we can have more confidence in: $15B.

  12. Winkypop Silver badge
    Trollface

    $19 billion

    If you think that’s good, then I have bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

  13. trevorde Silver badge

    There are some things that money can't buy

    Paying over the odds for a business: $44B

    Interest payments for loans to buy business: $1B

    Complete loss of advertising revenue: $500M

    Government fines for not removing hate speech: $250M

    Refusing to pay rent on buildings: $150M

    Not paying proper severance to employees: $100M

    Corporate rebranding: $10M

    Wages for new CEO: $6M

    Having the most number of followers on Xitter: priceless

    1. renniks

      Re: There are some things that money can't buy

      The X in Xitter is pronounced 'sh'

  14. s. pam Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Revaluation =

    I’d suggest that $19 is more accurate on a good day, less on a bad day is a more accurate valuation

  15. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

    So Musk could have given everyone on the planet $3 and still saved himself a billion, compared to what he has managed to achieve?

    What a "genius"!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yup.

      Or even, he could have just sat down and shut up, kept his billions, and not made a public spectacle of himself.

      ... except he's demonstrated that he isn't actually capable of the "shut up" part.

  16. Herring`

    I am actually impressed

    at how much he has managed to fuck up. I mean, it's less money than Liz Truss, but it's his own money.

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