Twitter has Trump, and a troubling revenue drop

Author

27 April, 2017

In the last quarter, Twitter's daily active user base grew by 11 percent, as well as its losses shrunk by about 23 percent to just $62 million.

Despite the company's quarterly revenue loss, Twitter saw its shares rise almost 9 percent to $15.94 in early pre-market trading on the New York Stock Exchange on the strength of its earnings beat.

The social media giant's monthly active users rose to 328 million - 7 million more than expected and 9 million more than the previous quarter.

Twitter has struggled to attract new users since the company went public in 2013. Given Twitter's recent sales trends and the fact that the company stopped providing quarterly sales guidance last fall, many analysts clearly feared the worst, and Twitter didn't deliver that.

"We continue to expect revenue growth to meaningfully lag audience growth in 2017", the company wrote in a letter to shareholders Wednesday.

Live streaming was also strong, with live video reaching 45 million unique users.

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Analysts on average had expected 321.3m monthly active users, according to market research firm FactSet StreetAccount.

In pre-market trading, the earnings caused Twitter's share price to jump 10 percent, most likely on optimism that user growth was headed in the right direction. The company also introduced an update that makes it easier for users to follow conversations and replies in late March.

On the revenue front, Twitter did report a quarterly decline, noting that "there is still work to be done to translate" an improved user experience into revenue growth. The company has been plagued with a host of issues including executives who have been jumping ship, tough competition in the advertising space from companies like Facebook and Snap and so on.

Twitter's weak performance has raised questions about CEO Jack Dorsey's leadership and whether the company would be bought by a bigger media firm.

Though Twitter didn't say specifically that Trump's constant - some might say compulsive - tweeting was responsible for the modest growth, but Chief Operating Officer Anthony Noto said that usage by politicians appears to have contributed to the gains.

Adjusted earnings per share were 11 cents versus expectations of one cent.


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