(Adds analyst comment and background)
By Gerry Shih
SAN FRANCISCO, April 29 Twitter Inc on
Tuesday reported 255 million monthly active users, up 5.8
percent from the previous quarter but not enough to satisfy
investors increasingly concerned about its struggle to gain a
Twitter's stock fell nearly 10 percent after hours, to below
its post-initial public offering low of $38.80 on Nov. 25.
The San Francisco-based company also said viewers refreshed
their "timelines" - Twitter's equivalent of Web pageviews - 157
billion times in the first quarter, slightly fewer than some
The results revealed slowing momentum at a company that
exuberant investors had once argued could match Facebook Inc's
scale. At its peak in December, Twitter enjoyed a $46
billion market capitalization on just $665 million of revenue in
2013, making it one of the world's priciest stocks.
But cracks began to show in February, when Twitter Chief
Executive Dick Costolo pledged to revive user growth after
disclosing the rate had fallen to its lowest in years. Since
then, Twitter's stock has been trading at 40 percent below its
Expectations of Twitter growing into a communications
utility that Facebook has become are "unrealistic and divorced
from reality," said Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal
Research. "Twitter is and will remain a niche medium, and a very
The company, which has been steadily refining its targeting
capabilities, shows signs that it is better able to present ads
based on what it thinks each user would be interested in.
Twitter said its advertising revenue per thousand timeline
views, a metric that measures the effectiveness of its ads,
nearly doubled to $1.44.
The company posted better-than-expected quarterly revenue of
$250 million, as its mobile ads drew more viewer responses.
Excluding certain items, Twitter broke even against Wall
Street expectations of a 3 cent per share loss. But the company
said its net loss in absolute terms widened nearly fivefold to
$132 million from $27 million a year ago.
(Reporting by Gerry Shih; Editing by David Gregorio and Richard