Twitter posts strongest growth in monthly users in a year

Posted April 27, 2017

The company said monthly active users, a metric investors are closely watching, rose 6 percent to 328 million in the first quarter from a year earlier.

While non-GAAP earnings were positive, the net loss under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) was $62 million, or 9 cents per share.

Investors have piled the pressure on Twitter to grow its user base and the company has responded by moving to diversify its offering through new features including live video broadcasts.

Shares in Twitter are now trading at $16.02 after beginning the day around the $14.68 mark.

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Twitter's numbers could be even lower, according to study released last month by the University of Southern California and Indiana University, which found that as many as 48 million Twitter accounts are fake. The company streamed more than 800 hours of live premium video from content partners across more than 450 events reaching 45 million unique viewers in Q1, an increase of 31 percent from Q4 2016. Decline in the number of new users would also directly impact the company's revenue from ads - the easiest way to generate revenue for a social media company.

Twitter reported first-quarter non-GAAP EPS of $0.11, down 20% year over year, but above the consensus analyst estimate of $0.01.

Twitter Chief operating officer, Anthony Noto, said that there is a remarkable growth due to the Trump phenomenon in Twitter.

Revenue fell 8 percent year-on-year to United States dollars 548 million, as advertising revenue declined 11 percent to USD 474 million.

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Nevertheless, the company still remains behind competitors such as Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Instagram and Snapchat with regards to performance and user activity. "So we want to investigate those areas of high usage to see if there are different ways to drive revenue", he said, pointing to its ad tech outfit MoPub and its social dashboard TweetDeck as alternative solutions.

The problem: The people already on Twitter may well be using it more, but America's first true "Twitter President" hasn't inspired others to sign up for Twitter en masse.

Twitter is expected to record about $517 million in first-quarter revenue, down about 13% from the previous year, according to FactSet.

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