Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Results send Twitter stock soaring

Stronger financial results gave Twitter's stock a surge with its second quarter revenue more than doubling

Stronger-than-expected financial results has pushed Twitter's stock sharply higher after the short messaging service said its revenue more than doubled in the second quarter.

Twitter also grew its user base more than expected, alleviating concerns, at least for now, that it does not hold appeal for a broad swath of people. Its larger rival, Facebook, also posted strong results last week and its stock is trading near a record high.

San Francisco-based Twitter's stock jumped 30% to 50.01 dollars in extended trading last night.

Twitter posted a net loss of 144.6 million dollars (£85.5m), or 24 cents per share, in the April-June period. That compares with a loss of 42.2 million (£24.9m), or 32 cents per share, a year earlier when Twitter was still a private company.

Adjusted earnings were two cents per share in the latest quarter, beating analysts' expectations of a loss of one cent, according to FactSet. These numbers exclude stock compensation expenses.

Revenue was 312.2 million dollars (£184.7m), up from 139.3 million (£82.4m) thanks to help from new advertising tools Twitter launched in recent months, as well as international expansion.

Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting lower revenue of 283.3 million dollars (£167.6m).

Mobile advertising revenue was 224 million dollars (£132.5m), or 81% of the quarter's total ad revenue. In the first quarter, mobile ad revenue amounted to about 80% of total ad revenue.

"Our strong financial and operating results for the second quarter show the continued momentum of our business," said chief executive Dick Costolo.

"We remain focused on driving increased user growth and engagement, and by developing new product experiences, like the one we built around the World Cup, we believe we can extend Twitter's appeal to an even broader audience."

The service had 271 million average monthly users as of the end of June, up 24% from a year earlier and up 6 percent from the end of March. Analysts were expecting 266 million users. Facebook, in comparison, has 1.32 billion users.

"Timeline views", which measure how often users refresh their own or someone else's Twitter feed, increased 15% year-over-year to 173 billion. This metric is also up 10% from 157 billion in the first quarter. Twitter said it got a boost from the World Cup, the world's most popular sporting event that took place over a month in June and July.

Advertising revenue per thousand timeline views, another closely watched measurement, reached 1.60 dollars in the second quarter, double last year's number and up 11% from the first quarter.

For the current quarter, Twitter is expecting revenue of 330-340 million dollars (£195-£201m), above analysts' expectations of 323.7 million (£191.5m).

The company raised its revenue outlook for the year to between 1.31-1.33 billion dollars (£775-£786m). Its earlier guidance was for revenue of 1.2 -1.25 billion (£710-£739m). Analysts are forecasting 1.27 billion (£751m).

Twitter went public last November at a price of 26 dollars (£15.30) per share. The stock peaked in December at 74.73 (£44.21) and then declined sharply. Yesterday it closed at 38.59 (£22.83) before the after-hours surge.

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