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Twitter Announces A Profit For The First Time

09 February 2018

The number of daily active users of Twitter increased 12% from the fourth quarter a year earlier, while its number of monthly active users (MAUs) rose just 4% from the same period. Exane Derivatives grew its stake in shares of Twitter by 18.7% during the 3rd quarter. Twitter's revenue for the quarter was down 4.7% on a year-over-year basis. Balentine LLC now owns 6,822 shares of the social networking company's stock worth $115,000 after purchasing an additional 3,167 shares in the last quarter.

Pivotal Research lowered its rating to sell from hold for Twitter shares, saying the company won't be able to beat its stronger competitors in the ad market.

Previous year it unveiled a range of changes to attract new users which included products such as a live video streaming function for sports and news, and a doubling of the character limit for tweets to 280 in a bid to attract more advertisers. This is the second time in one year that the number of active U.S. users has dropped.

"We returned to revenue growth, achieved our goal of GAAP profitability, increased our shipping cadence, and reached five consecutive quarters of double-digit DAU (daily active user) growth". That was flat from the third quarter, which the company blamed in part on seasonal weakness and its purge of fake and spam accounts.

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Another source of the ad revenue growth was the new Promoted Tweet composer that simplifies the process of creating this content. Advertisers with access to this tool created 26% more Promoted Tweets, launched 13% more campaigns and spent 23% more on Twitter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 50.12% of the company's stock.

During a call with investors, Dorsey said Twitter's advertising products were performing better with a higher click through rate and the company is investing in its measurement capabilities. A new agency resource center for mid-sized digital agencies drove an increase in revenue from smaller ad agencies, the company reported.

Twitter swung to a net profit of $91.1m, or 12 U.S. cents per share, in the fourth quarter, from a loss of $167.1m, or a loss of 23c per share, a year earlier.

Overall revenue rose 2% year-over-year to US$731.6 million, the first increase since the fourth quarter of 2016, beating Wall Street's target of US$686.1 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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But analysts were split on what lies ahead for the company.

Last month, Twitter COO Anthony Noto said he was leaving the company. Annual EPS Growth of past 5 years is 5.10%. "This is all about really looking at the potential of revenue growth as they scale and leverage their cost structure", he said.

Chief Executive Jack Dorsey has focused for the past year on tweaking the product he co-founded to try to attract more people. Twitter has also struck deals with media companies for live news and entertainment shows. Its 330 million users doesn't put it in Facebook's league, but that total is nothing to sniff at. As of mid-morning Thursday its shares were up almost 23 percent.

The social media sector is trying to cope with a regulatory backlash in Europe and the U.S. over privacy, addiction to the medium, hate speech and alleged abuse of social media by Russian Federation to sway foreign elections. Aegis raised Twitter from a "sell" rating to a "buy" rating and set a $30.00 price target on the stock in a report on Tuesday, January 16th.

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Twitter Announces A Profit For The First Time