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Yes, you can still buy Twitter stock... for now. Whether you actually should buy Twitter stock is a different question.
After weeks of drama during which Elon Musk said he was giving serious thought to building a new social media platform, bought a 9.2% stake in Twitter, joined the company's board and then reversed that decision days later, Twitter announced earlier this week that the billionaire Tesla founder was buying the company.
Musk, who is the world's richest man with a net worth estimated at over $250 billion, sold about $8.5 billion worth of Tesla stock just after agreeing to buy Twitter, according to regulatory filings.
If the deal goes through, Twitter will become a private company. Investors wouldn't be able to buy Twitter stock anymore, and existing shareholders would get a payout of $54.20 for every share they own.
What does this mean for investors looking to buy Twitter stock and make a profit before the deal closes? Here's what investors should know.
Can you still buy Twitter stock?
Twitter's stock is still trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as Musk's deal faces shareholder and regulatory approval, which means you can buy shares if you want to.
However, if the deal goes through, the Tesla CEO will be taking the social media giant private, which means it will be delisted from the NYSE. In other words, you won't be able to buy or sell shares of the company via your investing platforms.
We can't say when exactly that will happen. Dan Raju, CEO of the brokerage technology firm Tradier, told Money that based on how similar deals have played out in the past, he estimates the deal will take a week or two to be finalized and for Twitter to be delisted. He added that shareholders would likely see payouts two to three days after that.
But remember: There's always the chance that the deal falls through.
Should you buy Twitter stock before it goes private?
According to Musk's deal, shareholders will get paid $54.20 per every share of Twitter they own. As of Thursday's close, Twitter was trading near $49 per share, which means an investor who buys the stock at that $49 will earn the difference between that price and $54.20 when the transaction close. That's a 10.6% gross pre-tax return.
It's tempting. But experts say buying Twitter stock right now is not such a good idea.
"Investors should not buy Twitter," Matthew Tuttle, CEO of Tuttle Capital Management told Money via email. "If the deal does not go through, which is a big IF when dealing with Elon Musk and all the baggage that comes with him, the downside is pretty huge."
Buying the stock of a company before it's expected to get acquired involves a lot of volatility, and should only be taken on by investors with a tolerance high enough for that risk, says David Sekera, chief U.S. market strategist for Morningstar.
On top of the possibility that the deal fails and the stock price falls to the pre-acquisition price or below, there's also the risk that the approval drags out longer than expected, which means the return on an annualized basis could drop. (The annualized rate of return is a way to calculate investment returns on a yearly basis and compare one of your investment's returns to another's.)
While Morningstar expects Musk to successfully acquire Twitter, the controversy surrounding the deal could mean regulators take more time than usual to approve it, Sekera says.
What are some better investment options?
There are much better opportunities out there than trying to make money off of Twitter's stock before the company gets acquired, says Angelo Zino, senior industry analyst at CFRA.
If you're interested in more speculative social media stocks, he suggests looking at Pinterest. While the company isn't seeing the same engagement levels it did during the pandemic when everyone was stuck at home with little to do but scroll on the internet, the company is doing "an unbelievable job monetizing the platform right now," Zino says.
In the first quarter of 2022, global average revenue per user was $1.33, up 28% from last year, the company reported Wednesday. Pinterest said it expects its second quarter revenue to grow around 11% year over year.
Alphabet is a favorite name at the moment, thanks in part to its money-making search business and growth in its cloud business, Zino says. Google's parent company may not be a straight social media play, but it does own YouTube, which is another of its growth opportunities, he adds.
Besides, financial advisors tend to recommend investing in stocks that have growth opportunities and holding on to them for the long-term, rather than trying to time the market.