To understand the speed with which Twitter's board accepted Elon Musk's $44 billion buyout offer, look no further than the dim view Wall Street holds over Twitter's ability to reach lofty financial goals announced after demands by activist investor Elliott Management in 2020.

When Twitter reports quarterly financial results on Thursday, analysts expect user growth to lag behind what they need to reach aggressive 2023 growth targets that Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and then-chief executive of Twitter promised Wall Street. According to data from Refinitiv, Twitter is expected to miss this target and remain off track for the remainder of the year.

Two weeks ahead of the deal announcement, Michael Nathanson, an influential tech and media analyst at MoffettNathanson, advised shareholders to "take the money ... and run."