X, the company formerly known as Twitter, handed out stock grants to employees on Monday that showed it was worth about $19 billion, down about 55 percent from the $44 billion that Elon Musk paid to buy the firm a year ago, according to internal documents seen by The New York Times.
Mr. Musk paid $54.20 a share to buy Twitter just over a year ago. The tech billionaire has since said he overpaid for the social network. In March, he wrote in an email to workers that he believed the company was worth $20 billion, calling it “an inverse start-up.”
In the paperwork for the new stock grants, X said the equity would be offered at $45 a share in the form of restricted stock units, which employees can earn over time. Employees will still be paid in cash in the amount of $54.20 for any outstanding shares that were granted to them under previous management, the company said.
It’s unclear why the share price has not dropped by the same percentage as the company’s valuation, though X could have altered the amount of shares outstanding.
A spokesman for X did not return a request for comment.
In his year of owning Twitter, Mr. Musk has overhauled the company and the social media platform. More than 80 percent of its 7,500 employees have either quit or been laid off. He has changed the service’s verification process, as well as content-moderation rules. Advertising, the company’s main source of revenue, was down in the United States by almost 60 percent this summer. Mr. Musk also loaded the company with billions of dollars in debt to help pay for the acquisition.
In November, he famously made a joke about spending to buy a social media company, asking, “How do you make a small fortune in social media? Start out with a large one.”
Mr. Musk has said he remains optimistic about the future of the company. Last week, in a company meeting celebrating the first anniversary of the deal, he laid out how he believed X could serve as an all-purpose app with an array of features, including dating services and job recruiting, according to a recording obtained by The Times.
“We’re rapidly transforming the company from sort of what it was, Twitter 1.0, to the everything app with an all-inclusive feature app where you can basically do anything you want on our system,” Mr. Musk told employees.
Linda Yaccarino, X’s chief executive, offered her own words of encouragement during the meeting.
“For people that don’t see our vision yet, people that don’t see what’s happening here at X, stop giving any of that oxygen,” she said. “Don’t pay attention to it.”