Twitter flunks examination as university endowments dump stock

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America’s smartest schools have given Twitter an F. Harvard, Yale and Stanford universities have all sold big chunks of their Twitter stock as the nine-year-old social media company struggles to prove to investors it has a trajectory of growth.

Related: Twitter's Dick Costolo to step down amid stalled growth and troll troubles

Yale University, which has a $23.9bn endowment fund, sold all of its 34,345 shares in Twitter – worth just under $1m at Monday’s stock price – over the last quarter. Harvard University, the world’s wealthiest university with a $36.4bn fund, sold 29,856 Twitter shares between April and June. Stanford, which has an endowment fund worth $21.4bn, sold 18,000 shares.

The universities’ sell-offs come as Twitter flounders without a permanent chief executive and analysts increasingly question the company’s future as its once-stunning user growth slows to a trickle.

Twitter’s shares have collapsed from $52 in April to $29 on Monday, a drop of 44%. Over that period, Yale’s Twitter holdings dropped in value by $788,000.

The universities’ regulatory filings were compiled together by Bloomberg on Monday.

Twitter’s chief executive, Dick Costolo, was last month temporarily replaced by co-founder Jack Dorsey after investors demanded explanations for the company’s stalling growth and lacklustre profits.

At the end of last month, Twitter reported the slowest user growth – from 302 million to 304 million active monthly users – since it went public in 2013. Dorsey, who has not confirmed when a permanent CEO will be installed to replace Costolo, told investors that the slowing growth was “unacceptable and we’re not happy about it”.

Powered by article was written by Rupert Neate in New York, for on Monday 17th August 2015 21.07 Europe/London

  • This article was amended to reflect that Yale’s Twitter holdings dropped in value by $788,000, not $788m. © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010