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Twitter smashes expectations, stock soars

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - 02:10

Twitter exceeded Wall Street's forecasts on everything from quarterly revenues, earnings, user growth, and money made per user, sending the stock soaring immediately after hours. Conway G. Gittens reports.

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Attention Twitter investors - buckle your seatbelts and get ready to fly high. Shares surged to more than 50 bucks in after-hours trade, a gain of 30 percent from its closing price below $39. The swift move came after the micro-blogging site not only posted a surprise net profit of two cents a share, but also beat sales forecast with $312 million in revenues. And that's not the only good news, says independent analyst Max Wolff. SOUNDBITE: MAX WOLFF, INDEPENDENT ANALYST (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We're looking at a great pivot to mobile - about three-quarters-plus of all usage mobile, over 211 million mobile first users, over 207 million average, average monthly users or MAUs - great numbers on the revenues side, good guidance. A little bit of a warning on the stock related compensation costs but a great story all in all. Obviously, the World Cup was helpful. A very good quarter." Just how helpful a world event like the global football tournament was to the bottom line will take a little more time to decipher, but the bigger question is: can Twitter keep new users coming back? Answering that question will be key to Twitter's ability to make more money off each user. Last quarter advertising revenue per 1,000 timeline views, which is a fancy way of measuring sales per eyeballs, reached $1.60 - double the same time last year. Great numbers, but not enough to totally put Twitter growth fears to bed. SOUNDBITE: MAX WOLFF, INDEPENDENT ANALYST (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Everyone's love is to dump on Twitter and celebrate Facebook, which has been on quite a tear. What you are seeing here - Twitter is doing a great job too of A: pivoting to mobile and B: monetizing that mobile engagement. So I think this does push back on the fears but it does not banish them. We need to see a couple more quarters of really good earnings." Twitter is looking to erase that loss and put the days of slower user growth behind it, highlighting on the conference call that it will not radically change the product, but is working on a messaging service - among other things, finding a way to measure user exposure through tweets on TV, and of course planning new ad products - in order to keep the cash flying through the doors.

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Twitter smashes expectations, stock soars

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - 02:10

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