Twitter Inc. (TWTR) - Get Free Report posted weaker-than-expected third-quarter earnings Thursday, and forecast softer revenue growth for the final months of the year, sending shares on course for their biggest single-day decline in two years.
Twitter said earnings for the three months ended in September came in at 17 cents per share, down 19% from the same period last year and well shy of the Street consensus forecast of 20 cents per share. Group revenues, Twitter said, rose 9% to $824 million, but that figure missed analysts' forecast of an $876.26 billion tally as "seasonality" in advertizing demand hit sales. Ad revenues, in fact, rose 8% to $702 million, compared to $727 million in the second quarter.
Looking into the final three months of 2019, Twitter said it sees revenues in the region of $940 million to $1.01 billion, missing the Refinitv forecast of $1.06 billion.
"We're continuing to improve relevance while testing ways to make it easier for people to find what they are looking for on Twitter," said CEO Jack Dorsey. "We also continue to make progress on health, improving our ability to proactively identify and remove abusive content, with more than 50% of the Tweets removed for abusive content in Q3 taken down without a bystander or first person report."
Twitter shares were down 19% Thursday to $31.43, a move that trimmed the stock's year-to-date gain to around 10%.
The micro-blogging website's key performance metric, which it describes as 'monetizable daily active users', rose 17% from last year to a forecast-beating 145 million, thanks in part to efforts at personalizing the Twitter desktop. Those gains, however, added further concern for the fall in revenues, which the company put down to tough comparables from the third quarter of 2018 and some issues with its older ad platforms.