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Twitter shares plunge on news of drop in users

28 July 2018

Analysts, on average, had expected 340 million monthly active users in the third quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The company has tried to improve the site to personalize it more for users, including overhauling the "Explore" section of the mobile app to show curated content for breaking news stories and major events such as the recent World Cup soccer tournament, which brought in $30 million in extra revenue in the second quarter.

In the financial report released Friday, the company acknowledged that "our work sometimes includes the removal of accounts, some of which are included in our metrics", but that getting rid of problematic accounts will make the service more user-friendly, driving future growth.

Revenues from advertising rose, delivering Twitter's third profitable quarter in a row.

Twitter reported record profits and exceeded expectations for revenue in the second quarter, but a drop in user count due to the social network's efforts to remove bots and fake accounts and a miss on earnings per share sent its stock into a tailspin Friday.

"They're cleaning up a lot of MAUs that are not good or real", said Richard Greenfield, an analyst at BTIG, referring to monthly active users.

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It's larger rival Facebook lost $120bn in market value on Thursday after it warned sales growth was slowing and cost rising as it addresses concerns about personal data usage.

Twitter's put its EBITDA guidance for the third quarter between $US215 million and $US235 million.

Twitter again touted daily active user growth. Twitter reports in USA dollars.

Revenue of $711 million rose 24 percent from a year ago and exceeded the average estimate of $696 million.

As for the rest of the report, the company earned an adjusted $0.17 a share on revenue of $710.5 million - beating the $0.16 and $697.3 million that analysts were expecting.

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But Kammenos went on the counter-attack, telling the BBC that illegal construction in the past was also to blame for the disaster. Nothing!" one woman yelled at him as the local mayor and head of the military stood nearby, "You let people burn for no reason.

It was the second-biggest loss for Twitter's stock since the company went public in 2013.

The reaction in Twitter shares to the user outlook may be overblown, some analysts said.

Chief executive Jack Dorsey said the past quarter's results reflect investments "in the long-term health" of Twitter, noting efforts to weed out abusive and inappropriate behavior. "We simply don't see the product improvements having a dramatic impact on Twitter's ability to attract new users".

Earnings excluding items were 17 cents per share, in-line with analyst estimates.

The drop in Twitter's share price comes a day after Facebook's shares fell 19% when it revealed it had lost 3 million users in Europe since the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal and the introduction of strict European Union privacy laws.

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Facebook Class B shares have 10 times the voting power of Class A shares, and Zuckerberg owns 75 percent of the Class B stocks. Costs in this area rose by around a half compared to the same period past year .

The new capital expenditures forecast is for between $450 million and $500 million, up from $375 million to $450 million, as Twitter expands and upgrades the computer infrastructure underlying its service.

Twitter shares plunge on news of drop in users