Americans would rather #BuyAmazon than #BuyTwitter

November 14, 2013, 3:03 PM GMT+0

Is Twitter a good investment? Maybe, but Americans would rather #BuyAmazon – or even #BuyGold or #InvestInOil

Twitter’s recent IPO and the subsequent doubling of its stock price on its first day it has remained near its high since then) suggests that the company should be perceived as a good investment. But the latest Economist/YouGov Poll finds the public divided on whether Twitter is a good investment – though Twitter users are most positive about the company’s value.

But three other tech companies that have been around a while are seen as even better investments, though it’s not clear whether that is because of their products and previous stock performance, or just their longevity. Apple went public in 1980, and Microsoft in 1986. Since their IPOs, each company’s stock has split several times, and Apple currently has the largest capitalization of any publicly-traded company, with Microsoft in fourth place. Both companies are extremely profitable. It’s no doubt that Apple and Microsoft have been – at least up to now – very good investments. And Americans agree that they are – by margins of more than five to one.

But one other internet company looks even better, and that is Amazon. That company has also split its stock several times since it went public in 1997, though it hasn’t done so in the last 14 years. But Amazon stock suffered a severe drop in value during the early 2000s, and while the company turned its first (small) profit in 2001, it is currently losing money, despite huge sales and the continued rising stock price. Still, Americans see Amazon as a better investment than Twitter, Microsoft or Apple. Twitter users, too, are more positive about Amazon than they are about the other stocks.

Two other types of investments also have good reputations with the public: by five to one, precious metals and energy companies are seen as good investments, scoring much higher than hi-tech hardware companies and internet application companies in general. And despite the fact that Amazon itself is a giant retailer, large retail companies in general (which Americans most likely see in their brick and mortar form) get only mixed reviews when it comes to investment potential.

Full results can be found here.

Economist/YouGov poll archives can be found here.

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