Twitter's first earnings report: Active user count up 30 percent to 241 million

Mobile advertising revenue alone accounted for 75 percent of Twitter's total advertising department intake.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

All eyes were on Twitter this afternoon. No, not at the rapid fire of Tweets piling upon one another on users' streams, but the social network's first earnings report as a public company.

The micro-blogging service reported a fourth quarter net loss of $511 million, or $1.41 per share (statement).

Non-GAAP earnings were two cents per share on a revenue of $243 million.

Wall Street was actually expecting a loss at two cents per share and revenue of $217.82 million.

For 2013 overall, Twitter reported revenue of $665 million with non-GAAP earnings of 18 cents per share.

Following a much better than expected report as far as sales and revenue is concerned, CEO Dick Costelo reflected on the three-month period in prepared remarks:

Twitter finished a great year with our strongest financial quarter to date. We are the only platform that is public, real-time, conversational and widely distributed and I'm excited by the number of initiatives we have underway to further build upon the Twitter experience.

For the current quarter, Wall Street isn't predicting things to improve, maintaining expectations of a loss at three cents per share and revenue of $215.23 million.

Twitter a offered Q1 revenue guidance range of $230 million to $240 million. For the year, Twitter projects that revenue will fall between $1.15 billion to $1.2 billion.

Twitter ended the quarter with 241 million monthly active users as of December 31, a 30 percent uptick year-over-year. Mobile monthly active users jumped by 37 percent annually to 184 million.

As for perhaps the most important metric while Twitter continues to prove its worth in all sense of the word, advertising revenue per thousand timeline views was $1.49, up 76 percent year-over-year.

Mobile advertising revenue alone accounted for 75 percent of the total advertising department intake.

Data licensing and other revenue rang up to $23 million, while international revenue (27 percent of total revenue) reached $66 million.


Following a private filing under the Jumpstart Our Businesses (JOBS) Act in September, Twitter went public on the New York Stock Exchange in November under the ticker symbol, "TWTR." With an IPO price of $26 per share, Twitter ended the first day with close to $45.

On Wednesday, Twitter closed out the day with shares at $65.97 a pop. Shares continued to fluctuate in after-hours trading, likely due to slower active user count growth than expected.

With the backdrop of countless disappointing public debuts by consumer tech brands over the last few years, Twitter's first day on the floor was a resounding success. There has been some nitpicking and quibbling since then about how sound and valuable Twitter shares actually are in the long run.

Even with an earnings report under its belt, time will still have to tell on that one.

To recall, Facebook trudged through its first year (and first brutal few months) trying to reassure investors while redrafting its business strategy. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based corporation has since bounced back considerably thanks to a honed vision surrounding mobile.

Chart via Twitter Investor Relations

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