Twitter Inc. (TWTR) - Get Report shares jumped Wednesday after the investment bank Morgan Stanley (MS) - Get Report revealed a passive stake in the micro-blogging website now worth around $1.3 billion.
The stake, which was made public in a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, was described as "passive" and pegged at around 5.6% as of December 31. The news come just days after Twitter posted stronger-than-expected fourth quarter earnings as user growth held firm, but cautioned that expenses would rise notably this year as it moved to protect the integrity of its platform.
Twitter shares were up 3.6% to $31.49 in New York trading Wednesday following news of the stake.
Twitter posted earnings for the three months ending in December came in a 31 cents per share, rising 63% from last year and topping the Street forecast of 25 cents per share. Group revenues, Twitter said, rose 24 to $909 million and again topped the consensus forecast of $868 million.
Looking into 2019, Twitter said it see first quarter revenue in the region of $715 to $775 million, essentially in-line with the Refinitiv forecast of $765 million. Twitter also said GAAP and cash operating expenses would rise by 20% from last year, to a range of $550 million to $600 million, "as we support our existing priorities of health, conversation, revenue product and sales, and platform."
Twitter said the average of daily active users that the company can monetize on its platform rose 9% to 126 million, helped by an 11% gain in international users to 99 million. On a monthly basis, Twitter said, active users were down 9 million to 321 million, but that figure came in largely in-line with analysts' forecasts.
However, Twitter also said it would stop publishing monthly active user data after the first quarter of this year, and would immediately start providing daily active user data for U.S. and international markets.