Twitter lower; Cowen survey suggests ad ROI below Facebook, LinkedIn

|By:, SA News Editor

Cowen's John Blackledge is the latest analyst to issue a bearish opinion on Twitter (TWTR -4.9%), starting coverage with an Underperform and $32 PT. After opening higher, shares are adding to their recent losses, and are now down 17% on the week.

Blackledge (unsurprisingly) takes aim at Twitter's valuation, and also reports a survey of 50 ad buyers suggests Twitter's ad ROI is worse than Facebook (FB -1.7%) and LinkedIn's (LNKD +2.3%). ~60% of respondents claimed Facebook delivered the best ad ROI, ~25% said LinkedIn did so, and only ~5% picked Twitter.

RBC offered a more upbeat take last month, stating 40% of polled Twitter advertisers have seen improved ROIs over the prior six months, and that a similar number have increased their Twitter spend.

Much like Facebook in 2012/early 2013, Twitter has been busy rolling out a barrage of new ad products, as it works to provide better targeting and improve its ad revenue per 1K timeline views from a Q3 level of just $0.97 ($2.58 in the U.S., $0.36 internationally).

Cantor and Morgan Stanley have already cut shares to Sell this week, with each naming valuation among its reasons for being bearish.