Twitter shares crashed on Thursday following the release of the company’s 4th quarter earnings report.
CNBC reports that the social media company posted a fourth-quarter earnings report showing earnings of 16 cents per share on a revenue of $717 million. This fell short of analysts’ expectations, who had anticipated a higher revenue of approximately $740.1 million, according to an estimate from Thomson Reuters. Twitter had posted 12 cents per share on revenue of $479 million in 2016.
Twitter adjusted its guidance for the first quarter from the range of $75 million to $95 million, falling fall short of Wall Street’s expected estimate of $191.3 million. Twitter’s stock crashed a full 10 percent following the announcement of the earnings report. The company did report a 4% increase in active monthly users with 319 million users per month, up from 317 million users in 2016.
Twitter’s advertising revenue decreased from the year previously, with the company reporting revenue of $638 million. Of that, US revenue was down 5%, totaling $440 million, while international revenue totaled $277 million, an increase of 12% from 2016.
The company also reported a loss of $143.6 million in the 4th quarter, much worse than the reported $67.2 million loss in the same quarter for 2016, according to NASDAQ.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey discussed the poor performance of the company, saying, “While revenue growth continues to lag audience growth, we are applying the same focused approach that drove audience growth to our revenue product portfolio, focusing on our strengths and the real-time nature of our service. This will take time, but we’re moving fast to show results.”
Twitter’s Chief Financial Officer Anthony Noto claimed that ad-partners were happy with the company’s revenue growth: “Revenue growth will continue to lag audience growth due to the sales cycle, and could be further impacted by the escalating competition for digital advertising spending and our efforts to re-evaluate our revenue product feature portfolio.” The company also stated that they had made great progress with Twitter features on the platform such as the “Home Timeline.”
“We also improved the relevance of notifications to increase engagement and bring people back to Twitter. These changes improved retention for both monthly active and daily active usage, as well as increased Tweet impressions and time spent on the service,” the company stated.
It is believed by some that President Trump’s tweets may have a large effect on the platform in both positive and negative capacities. Analyst Richard Greenfield stated, “The incessant news flow from the Trump administration playing out on Twitter and the ensuing global reaction pushes Twitter users to be increasingly engaged with the platform.”
However, Richard Kramer of Arete Research told CNBC that the president’s tweeting may deter brands from advertising on Twitter due to fear of the current extreme polarization among Americans over politics. “I think whatever your political views, it’s clear that Trump is extremely divisive, and this isn’t really a positive for advertisers,” said Kramer.
Steve Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft and a Twitter shareholder, spoke to CNBC about Twitter’s performance and CEO Jack Dorsey. “Every time I talk to Jack, the message is, ‘We need more. More innovation. Move, move, move,'” said Ballmer, “Get the cost base right and move forward.”
“Running two companies is not the best idea,” said Ballmer referring to Jack Dorsey’s other company, Square. “And I’ll stand by the notion that Jack’s a very creative, innovative guy, as well evidenced by the fact that he started two amazing companies. … I give him credit for that, and I think now’s the time to focus down, at least from my perspective, on the stock I own.”
Breitbart Senior editor MILO predicted the death of Twitter following his suspension from the platform in 2016.
Editor’s note: this story has been updated to include reported losses for the quarter per NASDAQ.