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Twitter no longer at ‘death’s door’ as earnings report approaches

LiveMint logoLiveMint 26-07-2017 David Ingram

San Francisco: Twitter Inc. heads toward its quarterly earnings report on Thursday with a stock that has risen more than 40% since April when much of Wall Street was ready to write off the technology company.

The company’s share price popped after its most recent earnings report in April, when Twitter disclosed better-than-expected user growth.

The number of people on Twitter will be in sharp focus on Thursday, when investors and analysts will see if it has kept up the 6% year-over-year growth in monthly active users as it reported in April. Twitter has then said it had 328 million users.

“For a company that people thought six months ago was knocking on death’s door and going the way of Myspace and AOL, the double-digit rebound and the continued acceleration in users has really surprised investors,” BTIG Research analyst Richard Greenfield said.

Twitter shares closed on Tuesday at $19.97, nearly flat on the day, but up 41.4% since its stock hit an intra day low of $14.12 on 17 April.

The S&P 500 information technology index is up 10.6% since its 17 April closing price.

The surge of interest is a morale boost for Twitter, which has limped through past earnings announcements, struggled to keep a stable management and suffered unfavourable comparisons to its bigger and more profitable competitor Facebook Inc.

This month, Twitter had a streak of 12 days when its shares closed up.

The business is expected to report quarterly revenue of $536.6 million, according to a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S forecast average. That would be a drop of 10.9 % from $602 million a year earlier.

What has investors upbeat, though, is the number of people on the service, which public figures including U.S. President Donald Trump use to blast out 140-character messages.

“People are willing to give them the benefit of the doubt if they start to grow again,” Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said.

Other positive signs cited by analysts include co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey purchasing additional shares and co-founder Biz Stone announcing in May his return to Twitter. Ex-banker Ned Segal starts next month as Twitter’s next chief financial officer.

Meanwhile, advertisers and investors have gotten used to Twitter existing as a niche platform. (Reuters)

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