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Twitter user growth stalls as revenue fell 5% in Q2; investors hammer stock

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Twitter reported that it failed to increase the number of users during the second the quarter and that revenue slid as the company’s attempt to reboot seemed to hit a wall.

In its latest earnings release, the company said that “monthly average usage” was 328 million for the second quarter. While that was up five percent from the same quarter one year ago, it was the same number it reported for the first quarter. That number matched analysts’ projections which were betting on no user growth for Twitter.

In a shareholder letter, the company praised new product developments for increasing MAU from a year ago. But it blamed the lack of growth from the last quarter on “lower seasonal benefits and other factors.”

Just as troubling, the company reported $574 million of revenue, a drop of 5 percent compared to the same period one year ago. The drop was not as steep as the $537.5 million revenue that analysts had been projecting. The revenue slump follows an 8 percent drop in the first quarter, which was Twitter’s first ever year-over-year revenue decline.

The result was a loss of $116 million for the quarter, up from $107 million for the same quarter one year ago. However, Twitter says its loss for the quarter included a one-time charge of $55 million, and that otherwise it is making progress toward profitability.

The company again tried to highlight that it was increasing its “daily average usage,” which it said increased 12 percent compared to the same period a year ago. That was the third straight quarter of double-digit “daily average usage” growth, though the company does not provide the underlying numbers so it’s impossible to know if that number increased from the first quarter.

Still, that is a slight dip from the the 14 percent DAU it reported in Q1.

The company has started using the term “monthly average usage” and “daily average usage” rather than the traditional “user” over the past year for reasons that are not entirely clear. A spokesperson said the company considers “usage” and “user” to mean the same thing.

“We’re proud that the product improvements we’re making continue to increase their overall contribution to Twitter’s growth,” said Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO, in a statement. “We’re strengthening our execution, which gives us confidence that our product improvements will continue to contribute to meaningful increases in daily active usage. We’re also encouraged by the progress we’re making executing against our top revenue generating priorities as we focus on making Twitter the best place to see and share what’s happening, where you can see every side and perspective.”

Twitter’s revenue issue are being driven by continued decline in its advertising business. Ad revenue for Q2 was $489 million, a drop of 8 percent year-over-year. That was offset by the “data licensing and other revenue” which the company said increased 26 percent to $85 million.

Live video continued to be a bright spot as the company said it delivered 1,200 hours of live premium video during the second quarter, up from 900 hours in Q1 and 600 hours in Q4 of 2016. That video reached 55 million unique viewers in the quarter, up 22 percent from Q1.

Twitter’s stock had been on a rebound in recent months. However, after the earnings report was released this morning, investors slammed Twitter’s stock in pre-market trading, causing it to fall 8.55 percent.

 

 

 

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