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Greenberg: What's Twitter Really Worth?

Twitter
Loic Venance | AFP | Getty Images
Twitter

Here we go again.

A few weeks ago I did a piece explaining why, perhaps, Twitter is worth more than $10 billion.

Now comes news that JP Morgan, through its new Digital Media fund, may take a stake in Twitter that would value the company at around $4.5 billion.

Please! As if anybody knows what the company really is worth or, more importantly, ultimately will be worth based on future revenues.

My $10 billion story, of just two week ago, was sparked by takeover speculation that put the company’s value at $6 billion or $7 billion.

As I wrote at the time: “The potential to scale revenue is so great that I hear Twitter’s founders are in no rush to sell; they truly believe, I am told by those who should know, that at some point a value like $10 billion today might have been giving the company away.”

The valuations we’re seeing today are based on leaks to the press from “people familiar” with the situation. (The JP Morgan news was first reported over the weekend by the Financial Times.)

If there’s any news here, it’s that at more than $4 billion JP Morgan would be paying slightly more than investors who participated in its financing of just a few months ago.

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But they’d also be paying roughly the reported price of Twitter in the secondary market.

The more significant part of the story is that Twitter isn’t going public. (Yet!)

That, more than anything, suggests how serious they are about figuring out a way of building a business rather than a stock.

Follow Herb on Twitter: @herbgreenberg

Questions or comments? Email HerbOnTheStreet@cnbc.com