Twitter, driven by strong growth overseas, swung to a profit during the first quarter of the year, its second profitable quarter ever after a strong finish last year. Shares climbed 4 per cent before the market open today. For the three months ended March 31, Twitter Inc. earned USD 61 million, or 8 cents per share. A year earlier the San Francisco company lost USD 61.6 million, or 9 cents per share. Removing certain items, earnings were 16 cents per share.
That’s 4 cents better than what analysts polled by Zacks Investment Research expected. Revenue increased sharply to USD 664.9 million from USD 548.3 million, bolstered by a 53 per cent jump in international revenue. The performance easily beat the USD 609.9 million in revenue that analysts projected. Daily active users increased 10 per cent, but that’s down from 12 per cent growth in the fourth quarter and 14 per cent growth a year ago. It had 336 million monthly average users in the quarter, up from the 330 million in the previous quarter and the 319 million users a year earlier. Twitter’s been dealing with several broader problems.
It’s struggled to get people to sign up, despite the attention President Donald Trump’s no-holds barred tweets have drawn to the company. Part of the issue is that anyone can read tweets without signing up. As a result, Twitter’s user base pales compared with Facebook and the Facebook-owned Instagram. Twitter has also wrestled with hate speech and abusive comments, fake accounts and attempts by Russian agents to spread misinformation on the site.