​Twitter Q3 takeaway: Data, enterprise tools can boost profits, revenue

Twitter's fastest growing business amid falling ad revenue is data licensing for enterprise accounts, as third-quarter results topped expectations.

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Twitter is best known as the social network of choice for President Donald Trump, but the company is increasingly becoming a data service for enterprises.

The company allayed a few growth fears with its third-quarter financial results as the company became a more valuable marketer tool. The big bet: Enterprise and data products will be "an increasingly important contributor to revenue growth and overall profitability."

While most of Wall Street was focused on monthly active users, the reality is that Twitter is signing enterprise deals and its fastest growing business revolves around courting corporate customers.

Twitter reported a third quarter net loss of $21 million, or 3 cents a share, on revenue of $590 million, down 4 percent from a year ago. Non-GAAP earnings were 10 cents a share. Wall Street was expecting non-GAAP earnings of 6 cents a share on revenue of $586.7 million.

Data licensing and other revenue was $87 million in the third quarter, up 22 percent from a year ago and 15 percent of revenue.

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In a shareholder letter, Twitter noted:

Also in Q3, data and enterprise solutions was our fastest-growing product area with its third consecutive quarter of accelerating growth on a year-over-year basis. We continue to benefit t from our new tiered product and channel strategy, with a significant number of new enterprise deals signed in Q3. We expect data and enterprise solutions will continue to be an increasingly important contributor to revenue growth and overall profitability.

In addition, Twitter made strides to be more of a business tool. The company launched a subscription product to help small businesses grow their follower base as well as more support for top spending advertisers.

The enterprise and data licensing part of Twitter's business is becoming more critical. Twitter's ad business was down 8 percent from a year ago and it's unclear whether the company can reverse the trend.

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Average monthly active users were 330 million for the quarter, up 4 percent from a year ago. Average daily active users were up 14 percent from a year ago.

As for the outlook, Twitter said adjusted EBITDA will be between $220 million and $240 million. At the high end of that range, Twitter would be profitable on a GAAP basis.

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