Twitter Stock Falls as Disney, Google Rethink Bids

Stock down nearly 20% in early trading as reports say Disney Google drop out of running

Twitter stock got hammered early Thursday, dropping as much as 19.5% ($4.85 each) after reports said that both The Walt Disney Co. and Google will back out of the running for the company.

The news erased most of the run-up in the stock over the past month, when reports first surfaced that Disney and Google were both considering bids for the social media phenomenon. At one point, the stock rose as much as 21%.  As of 10:52 a.m., Twitter stock was priced at $20.30 per share, down 18.4%.

Disney investors appeared mildly relieved with the news, driving the stock up as much as 1.2% ($1.13 each) in early trading Thursday to $93.58 per share. As of 11:08 a.m., the stock was trading at $92.80, up 35 cents each or 0.4% per share.

According to Recode, although Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey has a seat on the entertainment conglomerate’s board, Disney has decided not to make a bid, according to sources familiar with the matter. Recode said that although the Twitter sale process continues, Google and Apple also have decided not to bid.

That leaves, which started the frenzy of deal speculation around Twitter last month when it approached the social media company about a possible bid. Twitter was expected to field several offers from potential suitors as early as the end of the week. That list is shorter today, but other players in media, telecom and private equity are expected to participate.