Whether this is a good sign, a bad sign or no sign at all, we’ll have to wait until Thursday to find out. Twitter, based in San Francisco, has decided to release its quarterly earnings report before the stock market opens, at 4 a.m. Pacific Time on Thursday, instead of its typical time, after market closes, or about 1 p.m. Pacific Time.
Twitter said in the press release that it was moving its earnings time “in response to analyst requests, to avoid overlapping with several other earnings announcements in the Internet sector scheduled for Thursday afternoon.”
Both Google and Amazon report earnings that day, too.
The change of time is raising eyebrows, given how closely everyone is watching Twitter these days for signs of a sale and amid the ongoing challenges facing its core business. Twitter has put itself on the auction block, but so far, no one seems to want it. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who had deal talks with Twitter, has even publicly said that he was forced to walk away from the deal table after his shareholders protested.
Other potential buyers including Walt Disney Co., and Google’s parent company Alphabet also reportedly looked at the company and passed. The latest rumor is that Softbank is kicking the tires on an acquisition, though there doesn’t seem to be any real evidence of a deal.
With no buyer on the horizon, Twitter may be left to get its own house in order. Twitter is a popular social media service but it loses money, its user growth has stalled and it also has a major online harassment problem.
The press and analysts are waiting to hear what news, if any, Twitter will announce about its sale or its self-improvement plans on Thursday.
And that means that some have wondered aloud if Twitter’s change to the earlier time is a tactic to fly under the radar, announcing any bad news when there is less attention focused on it. As TechCrunch, also based in San Francisco, wrote: “We’re a little upset with a stunt Twitter just pulled: moving its earnings release to 4:00 a.m. PST on Thursday. “
And naturally, the tweets and are flying, too:
— DEBRA LEE (@Catwoman2011) October 24, 2016
Though some people see this is a good sign.
— TWEETER IR (@Tweeter_IR) October 24, 2016
And Bloomberg journalist Shira Ovide couldn’t help but note this observation.