Twitter beats on earnings but misses on user growth

Twitter’s stock rose slightly today after the company announced its fourth quarter earnings. It beat by a significant amount, although it missed in terms of what analysts expected for user growth.

Here are the numbers:


Analysts expected — $453.1 million

Twitter actual — $479.08 million

Earnings per share (Non-GAAP):

Analysts expected — $0.06

Twitter actual — $0.12


Analysts expected — 295 million

Twitter actual — 288 million

Twitter’s growth is slowing. It only grew 1.4 percent from the third quarter to the fourth quarter, which is its slowest user growth quarter-over-quarter in the history of it being a public company.

The mixed bag of earnings results come after a month straight of Twitter developments. The company executed on some of the new products it previewed during Analyst Day in November: Instant, algorithmically curated timelines for new users, group private messaging, and “while you were away” updates. It made small forays into expanding its advertising beyond Twitter itself. Promoted tweets will start appearing on Flipboard and Yahoo Japan, the first partners.

At the same time, investors started raising complaints about the slow user growth. One told Business Insider that Dick Costolo should resign. A CNBC analyst predicted he’d be out by the end of 2015. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey recently tweet stormed in support of Costolo.

There’s also been a lot of leaked Twitter news recently that’s not product related. The company recently removed employees’ access to the monthly active user number, only granting it to certain people now. In an internal Twitter forum, CEO Dick Costolo admitted that Twitter wasn’t good at handling user harassment and bullying issues, and that he takes total blame for it. And word got out that Twitter is reestablishing its partnership with Google, so you’ll start seeing more tweets in your Google searches.


This story is developing and we’ll update with more information from the earnings call….

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