Technology

Twitter posts fastest revenue growth since 2014 in pandemic rebound

Twitter shares rose as much as 9% in extended trading on Thursday after the social media company announced second-quarter earnings that came in stronger than analysts had anticipated.

Here’s what Twitter reported versus Wall Street’s estimates:

  • Earnings: 20 cents per share, adjusted, vs. 7 cents as expected by analysts polled by Refinitiv.
  • Revenue: $1.19 billion vs. $1.07 billion as expected by analysts polled by Refinitiv.
  • Monetizable daily active users (mDAUs): 206 million vs. 206.2 million as expected by analysts polled by StreetAccount.

Twitter’s revenue grew 74% year over year in the quarter, according to a shareholder letter, with the company citing “a broad increase in advertiser demand.” In the prior quarter, revenue had risen 28%. Growth accelerated as the company lapped a quarter when revenue declined by almost 19%, resulting in the strongest growth since 2014.

After a $1.38 billion loss in the year-ago quarter, on Thursday Twitter showed a $65.6 million profit.

The number of monetizable daily active users, or Twitter users who view advertising on the site, grew by 11%, Twitter said.

In the quarter Twitter introduced its first subscription service, which gives users access to an Undo Tweet button and other features. The company also released its Spaces audio chat feature on mobile devices for all users with at least 600 followers. And it announced a Tip Jar feature that will enable users to send money to others on the site.

“If the creator is creating great content, and you see it in Super Follows, or it’s just a tweet and somebody puts money in their Tip Jar, or it’s long-form content that we include in a different price point for a subscription, without ads, that complements it with other features that come from us, then we would make sure that part of the value that can be attributed to the creator where those dollars go to them and that we’re facilitating a transaction,” Ned Segal, Twitter’s finance chief, said on a conference call with analysts.

The impact from changes in Apple’s iOS 14.5 release associated with tracking were lower than expected, Twitter said in its shareholder letter.

With respect to guidance, Twitter said it sees $1.22 billion to $1.30 billion in third-quarter revenue. Analysts polled by Refinitiv had expected $1.17 billion in revenue.

For all of 2021, Twitter said that it expects headcount and total expenses to go up at least 30% and that revenue will grow faster than expenses.

Notwithstanding the after-hours move, Twitter shares are up about 29% since the start of 2021, while the S&P 500 index has risen 16% over the same period.

Also after market close Snap, which like Twitter generates much of its revenue from advertising, reported better-than-expected results and saw its stock move up more than 13%. Advertising-heavy Facebook rose 2%, while Google parent Alphabet went up 1%.

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