Twitter Inc (TWTR) Earnings Preview

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Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is set to release its next earnings report on Tuesday after closing bell, and most of Wall Street is bracing for what will likely be another difficult report. Consensus estimates suggest 11 cents per share in adjusted earnings, revenue of $604 million, and $154 million in adjusted EBITDA. Management guided for revenue to be between $590 million and $610 million and adjusted EBITDA of between $145 million and $155 million.

Wall Street also expects Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) to have added 2 million users during the quarter.

Twitter’s user metrics in focus

As always, Twitter’s user metrics will be in focus. Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak warns that his analysis of user and app installs for the micro-blogging platform suggest that engagement continued to deteriorate during the second quarter.

Susquehanna analyst Shyam Patil and team said in their report that their second quarter checks for Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) were “the most cautious in quite a while.” They believe the platform’s growth decelerated “meaningfully” year over year and was “flattish” sequentially in the quarter, which would be consistent with management’s guidance.

Verto Analytics tells ValueWalk that 217.9 million users accessed Twitter’s services, including Vine and Periscope, at least once during the month of June in the U.S., which gives the micro-blogging platform a reach of 88.3% in the U.S. The firm adds that 90.4 million users were on Twitter every day in June, and the average user spends 2.3 hours per month on the platform, with the average session lasting 4.1 minutes.

Is Snapchat threatening TWTR?

Nowak does expect the company to benefit from the NFL deal, Rio Summer Olympics, and political ad spending during the second half of this year. However, he believes that the three events will add no more than $30 million in incremental revenue for the second half of the year, and even with that full amount, he believes the company will miss consensus estimates for the year.

Patil agrees that Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) may see some benefit from the Olympics and election and the push toward live video in the second half of the year. However, his checks also suggest that Snapchat may drive a “material” shift in ad budgets away from Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) in the fourth quarter. In fact, he believes that Snapchat is more of a threat to Twitter than to Facebook or Instagram.

However, Verto Analytics CEO Dr. Hannu Verkasalo believes Snapchat will end up being more of a “feeder” for Twitter than a threat.

“Twitter is in an interesting spot,” he explained in an email. “On the one hand, it battles other major ad platforms, like Facebook and Google, for revenues from mobile app install advertising market. On the other hand, its mobile-centric nature puts Twitter more into the category of messaging apps. In fact, based on Verto data, Twitter is more of a feeder for messaging apps rather than a replacement for or competition with them. Timely content is key for Twitter. There have been a number of new features and usability changes in Twitter’s mobile app lately, and it will be interesting to see if they are able to improve their 42% Verto Stickiness Index to closer to 50-60% – which is an extremely good metric for mobile apps to achieve (e.g. Facebook is at 75%).”

He believes that Twitter can improve its engagement and monetization issues if it can find a way to convince users to create more content on its platform rather than just read or consume it.

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) shares rose by as much as 1.01% to $18.56 during regular trading hours on Monday.

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