Twitter Inc (TWTR) May Miss On MAUs – Again

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Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is scheduled to release its next earnings report on July 29, and already analysts are weighing in. Consensus estimates suggest the company will post losses of 1 cent per share on $282.44 million in revenue for the most recently completed quarter. But what’s really been moving Twitter stock after the company’s last couple of earnings reports has been monthly average user numbers. So will investors be disappointed again?

Twitter may miss user expectations

Analyst Blake Harper of Wunderlich Securities remains bearish on Twitter going into this month’s earnings report. He continues to rate the company as a Hold with a $35 per share price target. He thinks the microblogging company will once again disappoint investors on monthly average user count. He’s projecting monthly average users of between 260 million and 262 million for the second quarter. That’s lower than consensus estimates of 267 million.

The analyst notes that Twitter likely received boosts from the changes it made in products and marketing going into the World Cup. Also the event itself enabled Twitter to break record after record for number of tweets and increased the company’s monthly active tweeting users in June to 126.9 million. This suggests that 1.1 million monthly active tweeting users were added during the second quarter.

He believes Twitter will continue improving monetization and engagement, which should help it post revenues that are strong. He thinks the company’s big problem this time though is again going to be estimates for monthly average user growth that are still “too aggressive.”

Analysts still downplay user importance

While Harper continues to expect investors to remain hyper-focused on user growth at Twitter, several others have downplayed the importance of this metric. Last week, analysts at Goldman Sachs said the company’s pace of innovation has been rapid and that they expect it to grow even more. They also said that focusing on user growth undervalues Twitter’s reach.

Bernstein analysts have also said investors should be looking at what Twitter has been doing to improve user experiences. Other positives they noted are new ad formats, which should have a positive impact on Twitter’s monetization. They aren’t expecting a major beat because the company has more shares unlocking for trade next month.

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