Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) finally delivered what investors have been craving for the last few quarters: a beat on monthly active user estimates. The micro-blogging platform also beat estimates for earnings and revenue, leading to irrational exuberance on Wall Street. Analysts are also more positive on Twitter, as at least two firms have increased their estimates for the company, although both have maintained their Neutral (or equivalent) ratings.
What truly drove Twitter’s MAU growth?
In a report dated today, Sterne Agee analysts Arvind Bhatia and Brett Strauser note that Twitter’s reported user growth was stronger than both sell-side and buy-side estimates. The company reported an increase of 16 million worldwide monthly active users. The main driver was stronger international growth. The company also said its total user base is two to three times is reported monthly active users.
Twitter management said its continuing product changes were the main contributor to its user growth. However, the Sterne Agee questions how much the World Cup played a role in growth because international users drove most of the second quarter upside. As a result, they want to wait and see whether the company’s user growth is sustainable.
Is Twitter’s MAU growth sustainable?
The analysts also want to see if Twitter is able to transform into a mainstream platform. They say if product changes and user on-boarding changes were truly the main contributor to the company’s user growth, then the effects should be see in future quarters as well. However, if the World Cup was the true main driver, then they don’t think such large growth is sustainable.
They believe Twitter stock skyrocketed because of long buying and short covering and that it will continue to perform well. They see the main indicator of Twitter’s long-term potential as being the next quarter’s results, however, because they will not see a benefit from the June quarter. They say for now, the company’s valuation “looks rich” and have maintained their Neutral rating on Twitter.
Twitter estimates increased
The Sterne Agee increased their estimates for Twitter in light of last night’s report. Their fiscal 2014 year revenue rises from $1.26 billion to $1.34 billion. They moved their EBITDA estimate from $223 million to $233 million. For 2015, they increased their revenue estimate from $2.05 billion to $2.19 billion and their EBITDA estimate from $486 million to $504 million.
In another report also dated today, Raymond James analysts Aaron Kessler and his associate Ben Cohen said they have become “incrementally more positive” on Twitter because of the second quarter’s improved user metrics. Also they cited the micro-blogging company’s “solid advertising monetization and outlook.” However, they have maintained their Market Perform rating because they think Twitter is fully valued.
Like the analysts at Sterne Agee, they also increased their estimate. They bumped their 2014 GAAP earnings per share estimate from losses of $1.11 per share to losses of $1 per share. Their revenue estimate rose from $1.276 billion to $1.353 billion for the full year.