Why Twilio (TWLO) Shares Are Falling Today

Anthony Lee /
2024/01/02 1:22 pm EST

What Happened:

Shares of cloud communications infrastructure company Twilio (NYSE:TWLO) fell 5.6% in the morning session after the Nasdaq and S&P 500 continued to retreat while the Dow rose slightly. Interest rates rebounded a bit, and investors may be continuing to take profits after a strong calendar 2023. Other than that, we found nothing more specific for the broad move downward. As a reminder, 2023 was a stellar year for the markets, with the S&P 500 surging by almost 25% and the NASDAQ Composite up over 40%. The final month of 2023 was notably strong, marked by a rally in equities and bonds. 

The prevailing theme for 2024 revolves around the narrative of slowing inflation. The Federal Reserve is attempting to orchestrate a soft landing scenario, where inflation comes under control without damaging the economy (in the form of higher unemployment and lower GDP growth, for example). This could hurt overall consumer demand and the markets. As it stands, the market expects a 75 basis points cut in rates throughout the year. Any change in this expectation or narrative could move markets. 

As a reminder, the driver of a stock's value is the sum of its future cash flows discounted back to today. With lower interest rates, investors can apply higher valuations to their stocks. No wonder so many in the investment community are optimistic about 2024. We at StockStory remain cautious, as following the crowd can lead to adverse outcomes. During times like this, it's best to own high-quality, cash-flowing companies that can weather the ups and downs of the market.

The stock market overreacts to news, and big price drops can present good opportunities to buy high-quality stocks. Is now the time to buy Twilio? Access our full analysis report here, it's free.

What is the market telling us:

Twilio's shares are very volatile and over the last year have had 21 moves greater than 5%. In context of that, today's move is indicating the market considers this news meaningful but not something that would fundamentally change its perception of the business. 

The previous big move we wrote about was 19 days ago, when the company gained 5.1% as stocks continued to rally, and both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite made 52-weeks highs. This follows a dovish stance from the Fed after its monetary policy meeting. On December 13, 2023, the Federal Reserve maintained its key interest rate for the third consecutive time, holding it within the targeted range of 5.25%-5.5%. Additionally, committee members signaled a more dovish stance for 2024, anticipating at least three quarter-point rate cuts, roughly aligning with market expectations but more accommodative than Fed officials' previous statements. The market is focusing on this change. The Fed Chair added that "Inflation has eased from its highs, and this has come without a significant increase in unemployment." This sounds a lot like the "soft landing" many market participants were hoping for, where inflation comes under control without damage to the economy that could hurt overall consumer demand. 

In line with the Fed's assessment, on December 12, 2023, the Bureau of Labor reported a slight decline in inflation, attributed to lower gasoline prices and a general easing of price pressures in the U.S. The consumer price index (CPI) for November 2023 showed a 3.1% increase from the previous year (in line with market expectations), down from 3.2% in October, indicating ongoing disinflationary pressures. 

As a reminder, lower rates are good for stock valuations, especially for tech companies where the market needs to discount back cash flows further out in the future. When the math is done to discount these cash flows back to today, a lower assumed discount rate leads to higher present values.

Twilio is down 5.4% since the beginning of the year, and at $71.85 per share it is trading close to its 52-week high of $77.85 from December 2023. Investors who bought $1,000 worth of Twilio's shares 5 years ago would now be looking at an investment worth $826.38.

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