Twitter Shares Fall, Ending A Hard Week For Social Media Stocks

DETROIT MI- Twitter Chairman and Square CEO Jack Dorsey moderates a panel discussion with Detroit entrepreneurs at Techonomy Detroit at Wayne State University

Twitter Stock Drops More than 18% in Morning Trading Bill Pugliano Getty Images Google Finance 27 Jul 2018

The company's stock dropped more than 18 per cent to $35.03 USA on the New York Stock Exchange Friday morning after it reported a decline in its monthly users and warned that the number could fall further in the coming months.

"We continue to invest in improving the health of the public conversation on Twitter, making the service better by integrating new behavioral signals to remove spammy and suspicious accounts and continuing to prioritize the long-term health of the platform over near-term metrics", the company wrote.

Monthly users fell to 335 million in the second quarter and came in well below Wall Street's expectations of 339 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. The number of users could also decline in the third quarter, Twitter warned. But the company gave a forecast for third-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of as much as $235 million, falling short of analysts' average estimate of $268 million.

Twitter shares tumbled 19 percent to $34.75 in afternoon trading, marking their biggest one-day drop since October 6, 2016.

"Our second quarter results reflect the work we're doing to ensure more people get value from Twitter every day", Dorsey said.

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The user outlook came as Twitter reported higher-than-expected revenue thanks to the FIFA World Cup driving ad demand, strength in video ads and booming worldwide ad revenue.

Twitter also saw usage fall after saying it would not subsidize messaging fees for users who accessed its app through text messages.

The quarter marked the first time overseas revenue contributed the majority of Twitter's ad sales. Daily active users however grew by 11%.

Twitter said the decline in the third quarter would be in the mid-single-digit millions, suggesting a sequential decline to around 330 million users.

Twitter is plunging in early trading, topping off a bad week for social media. Non-GAAP earnings were 17 cents per share on revenue of $711 million, up 27 percent year over year.

Profit was $100 million, with a $42 million boost due to a tax accounting move. Stalled American user growth and tighter rules on data protection in Europe may dampen revenue growth in two of the company's biggest markets. "Last year's Q2 created an incredible buying opportunity in the stock". Twitter has been criticized for allowing users to use hateful, violent and racist language, and, along with Facebook, has been a tool for Russian influence, as NPR has reported. Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey has said his priority is to reduce abusive conversations on the platform and the company said its machine-learning algorithms are identifying more than 9 million potential spam or automated accounts a week.

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