Twitter Reports Flat Growth and $116 million Loss; Shares Down 13 Percent
Looking more closely—on a per-share basis, for example—the San Francisco company said it had registered a second-quarter loss of 16 cents. Now, it is important to recognize that Twitter has actually never had a profitable quarter; and after one-time gains and costs adjustments, earnings for this quarter equaled roughly 8 cents per share.
Now, all that probably sounds like bad new but the reality is that the April-through-June results beat out Wall Street expectations. And they did this by starting the quarter with a change in the way that they calculate adjusted earnings. The old method would have seen about 12 cents per share, but the average estimate from 12 different analysts (as surveyed by Zacks Investments Research) was only for earnings of 5 cents per share.
Thus, the 8 cents—while down from original estimates—was higher than the average analyst’s expectation. And that is good for business. After all, the service also posted $573.9 million of revenue during the period, which also beat analyst forecasts.
Still, one of the most important metrics in the digital industries—user growth—held unchanged last quarter after 5 percent growth—to 328 million—last year.
However, it is also important to note that Twitter did launch a new service last quarter: Twitter Lite. Launched in April, this service was able to reach more international users—those who might live in regions of the world where mobile service is restricted or new. Twitter Lite, of course, uses less data and loads faster on slow connections and, perhaps most importantly, is “resilient on unreliable mobile networks,” as described by the company.
Still, Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey notes, “It’s way too soon to assess the [Twitter Lite] usage trends, but our initial results look really positive,” in a call with investors, Thursday morning.
All in all, Twitter stock dropped more than 13 percent—to $17.03 per share—around 9am PST on Thursday. Also, shares were up 4.5 percent since Q1 2017; up 8 percent on the year.