Twitter Inc Earnings: Will User Growth Chill Sentiment Again?

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Wall Street is expecting a lot from Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)’s earnings report tonight, as estimates are quite a bit above guidance. Will the micro-blogging platform significantly exceed those lofty expectations again, or will user metrics throw cold water on the results again?

Twitter’s basic numbers

In a report dated Oct. 26, 2014, Sterne Agee analysts Arvind Bhatia and Brett Strauser said they expect Twitter to post overall revenue of $345 million for the third quarter. They’re behind the consensus estimate of $351 million but still ahead of guidance, which is between $330 million and $340 million.

The analysts believe Twitter’s ad revenue will fall 12% sequentially and rise 102% year over year to $309 million. They project a 3% sequential increase and 136 year over year increase in data licensing revenue, which would bring it to $36 million.

They’re expecting adjusted EBITDA of $48 million, compared to the consensus estimate of $53 million and the guidance of between $40 million and $45 million.

Expectations for Twitter’s user growth, monetization

User growth is the one area where Twitter has been disappointing Wall Street all year. The Sterne Agee team wants to see a 14 million sequential increase in monthly active users, which would bring the total to 285 million. That’s a little behind Twitter’s 16 million net user growth in the second quarter. They estimate that 63 million users will be in the U.S. and 222 million of them will be outside the U.S.

They want to see a 6% sequential increase and 15% year over year increase in total Timeline, which would bring the total to 183 billion. They expect Timeline views per monthly active user to be 642, which would be a .5% sequential increase. This includes 791 Timeline views per U.S. monthly active user and 600 per international user.

On the topic of monetization, the Sterne Agee team wants to see $1.69 in ad revenue per thousand Timeline Views, which is a slight increase from the previously quarter’s $1.60. They’re projecting $4.28 per thousand Timeline views in the U.S. and 72 cents internationally.

They have a Neutral rating on Twitter going into tonight’s earnings report.

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