Twitter shares rise after showing growth in daily users

Twitter posted earnings that beat analyst estimates on the top and bottom lines Friday. The stock was up as much as 4% during premarket trading.

Here are the key numbers Twitter reported for its second quarter of 2019:

  • Earnings per share: 20 cents, adjusted, vs.19 cents per share expected, per Refinitiv survey of analysts
  • Revenue: $841 million, vs.$829.1 million expected, per Refinitiv
  • Average monetizable daily active users (mDAUs): 139 million

Revenue was up 18% year over year, the company said, due to domestic growth. Twitter said it reached an average of 139 million monetizable daily active users (mDAUs) in the second quarter, a 14% increase year over year. Average domestic mDAUs came to 29 million in the quarter, a 10% increase compared to the same period last year. Internationally, average mDAUs were 110 million in the quarter, up 15% compared to the same period last year.


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Twitter provided guidance for the third quarter, saying it expects revenue to fall between $815 million and $875 million. It expects operating income to fall between $45 million and $80 million. For the full fiscal year, Twitter reiterated that it expects GAAP operating expenses to go up about 20% on a year over year basis as it invests in top priorities like health and conversation.

The previous quarter was the last for which Twitter said it would report monthly active users (MAUs) as it shifts to a new metric the company said would better reflect its audience. The new figure, which Twitter calls monetizable daily active users (mDAUs), includes “Twitter users who log in and access Twitter on any given day through or our Twitter applications that are able to show ads,” according to the company.

Twitter said mDAUs are not comparable to disclosures from other social media companies, which it says typically share “a more expansive metric that includes people who are not seeing ads.” Twitter’s reported mDAU figure is significantly smaller than the DAU metrics its peers like Snap and Facebook report. Twitter reported 134 million average mDAUs for the first quarter. Snap reported 203 million DAUs in its latest earnings report and Facebook reported 1.59 billion DAUs.

Twitter’s decision to stop disclosing MAUs came after the company missed analyst estimates on the metric for two straight quarters. Twitter blamed the decline on tweaks it made “to prioritize the health of the platform” as well as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and a purge of “locked” accounts meant to get rid of bots, among other factors.

Twitter said its total advertising revenue reached $727 million in the quarter, up 21%, or 23% on a constant currency basis. Its ad revenue growth in the U.S. grew 29% compared to 26% last quarter, Twitter reported.

The company has been experimenting with how to emphasize conversations rather than engagement metrics such as likes and retweets to upgrade the experience of its platform. The company created a prototype app called “twttr ” to test out new ideas. Last quarter, CEO Jack Dorsey said the results so far were promising, but did not provide a timeline for when to expect a broader release of its features. Twitter began to role out a redesign of its website earlier this month.

In its letter to shareholders, Twitter said it has made its policies easier to read and implemented new features in its design to make it a better experience, like testing labeled replies that indicate the original author of a tweet. The company said it saw an 18% drop in “reports of spammy or suspicious content across all Tweet detail pages, which show the replies to any given Tweet on our service.” Twitter credited the reduction to its updated machine learning models.

As of Thursday’s close, Twitter’s stock had risen more than 32% so far this year.

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