Twitter Reports First Ever Net Profit; Stock Surges

Micro-blogging site Twitter Inc. (TWTR) on Thursday reported a net profit for the first time and returned to revenue growth. Both revenue and adjusted earnings per share for the fourth quarter beat analysts' estimates. The company's shares are rising more than 17 percent in pre-market activity.

Twitter's average monthly active users or AMU figure was flat with the previous quarter, but rose 4 percent year-over-year.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter's CEO said, "Q4 was a strong finish to the year. We returned to revenue growth, achieved our goal of GAAP profitability, increased our shipping cadence, and reached five consecutive quarters of double digit DAU growth. I'm proud of the steady progress we made in 2017, and confident in our path ahead."

Twitter's fourth-quarter net income was $91.08 million or $0.12 per share, compared to net loss of $167.05 million or $0.23 per share in the year-ago period.

On an adjusted basis, earnings for the quarter were $141.41 million or $0.19 per share, compared to $77.73 million or $0.11 per share last year.

On average, 33 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.14 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Revenues for the quarter increased 2 percent to $731.56 million from $717.21 million last year and beat analysts' consensus estimate of $686.06 million.

Twitter said its average monthly active users or MAU was 330 million in the fourth quarter, up 4 percent year-over-year and flat quarter-over-quarter.

According to the company, MAU was impacted by seasonality and the change to Safari's third-party app integration, which affected approximately 2 million MAU in the quarter - roughly 1 million in the U.S. and 1 million in international markets.

MAU was also impacted by increased information quality efforts, which are the company's overall efforts to reduce malicious activity on the service, inclusive of spam, malicious automation, and fake accounts.

Twitter's average daily active usage or DAU for the quarter grew 12 percent year-over-year, marking the fifth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth.

Looking ahead to the first quarter of 2018, Twitter projects adjusted EBITDA between $185 million and $205 million.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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