TWTR earnings from the second quarter are due Thursday before closing bell, and analysts are looking for earnings of 5 cents per share on $537.5 million in revenue. In last year’s second quarter, the social media firm reported 13 cents per share in earnings on $602 million in revenue.
TWTR earnings reactions driven by user numbers
As has been the case since the company went public, we can expect the company’s monthly active user number to dictate the market’s reaction to its earnings report. Twitter finally beat expectations for monthly active users in the first quarter, but analysts and investors will now be looking to see whether that was a fluke or the beginning of a longer-term trend.
Discussions about politics drove engagement and an increase in the micro-blogging platform’s monthly user base, according to management. President Donald Trump is an avid Twitter user, and while that hasn’t changed, it’s possible that things have quieted down. Investors have proven over and over that all they care about is monthly active users, as Twitter has beaten earnings estimates consistently.
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Here’s what consensus says about Twitter’s user base
Consensus is looking for 328.8 million monthly active users, which doesn’t exactly exude confidence because Twitter only had 328 million monthly active users at the end of the first quarter. Investors and analysts may be slightly shifting their focus on the company’s user base, as daily active user numbers are starting to become more important because they signify greater engagement.
Consensus for daily active users stands at 162 million for the second quarter, although the company has yet to break this metric out. If it does tomorrow, and it beats this estimate, investors and analysts would probably be very pleased. The company’s practice so far has been to report the percentage its daily active user base increased by on a year-over-year basis. In the last quarter, it reported a 14% increase in daily users after an 11% increase in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Revenue also in focus in TWTR earnings
In a note to investors dated July 24, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter called attention to another troubling trend in TWTR earnings, stagnating revenue growth. He wants to see a return to revenue growth, although consensus doesn’t expect that. Twitter guided for adjusted EBITDA of $95 million to $111 million, and from that outlook, Pachter estimates the company’s implied revenue guidance at $442 million to $548 million.
He continues to expect “underwhelming user growth” and trends in cost per engagement. He’s expecting only a 1.1% sequential increase in worldwide monthly user growth, including a 2% increase in the U.S. and growth of 0.8% internationally. He added that his estimate in the U.S. could end up being “overly aggressive” since Trump was inaugurated in the first quarter, which drove a good number of discussions on Twitter.
Going into TWTR earnings tomorrow morning, the company’s stock tumbled during regular trading hours on Wednesday, falling by as much as 2.63% to $19.46.