Microblogging giant Twitter (TWTR) - Get Report on Tuesday disappointed with its outlook for third-quarter earnings, as it works to get video advertising right while luring new users with exclusive content.
San Francisco-based Twitter said technology didn't yet make it possible to accurately measure ads served to mobile users even as 82% of its users access the site with their smartphones.
At the same time, the company is working to begin serving video ads up to 30 seconds across its platform to tap what it sees as a $10 billion growth market.
"There's a set of products and features we're working on to land these ads," said returning CEO Jack Dorsey on a conference call following the company's after-hours earnings release. He said the market is "something we haven't had access to before."
TheStreet's Jim Cramer said the company has been trying to monetize, however hasn't quite figured out how to do it yet.
"I don't want learning. I want winning," said Cramer, TheStreet's founder and manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, which owns Twitter. "Facebook is winning. Now Facebook's stock is up huge so I'm not going to venture exactly what's going to happen ... but Twitter, the problem is is that they haven't figured out how to monetize and I've got ways to do it. They're not doing it."
The video ads are part of a broader push at Twitter to broadcast the events users would tweet about anyway, automatically linking the two. In September it will begin showing NFL games on its platform - free of charge and regardless of whether or not a user is logged in. It's also inked agreements with both political parties to show their conventions and is developing a daily sports analysis show.
The company is using a revenue-sharing model with the content to lower its cost and risk, the CEO said.
"We have believed that Twitter's lack of real-time commercial intent (a la Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Report ) and detailed, authentic profiles (a la Facebook (FB) - Get Report ) will eventually limit growth. That said, we see Twitter aggressively experimenting with its product, and that's the right thing to do," wrote RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney in a note. He maintained his sector perform rating on the stock.
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Still, the company admitted advertising wasn't developing as quickly as it hoped. In the current third quarter it expects revenue in the range of $590 million to $610 million, below the $678 million analysts had forecast.
The disappointing figures sparked a 10.84% drop in the company's stock in extended New York trading to $16.45. The declines continued Wednesday as the company traded down 13% midday to $16.04 per share.
In the second quarter, Twitter said revenue rose 20% over the year-earlier period to $602 million, but Wall Street was looking for revenue of $606.77 million for the quarter. Still, it beat on earnings per share with 13 cents versus analyst hopes of just 10 cents.
Twitter blamed the revenue miss on advertisers remaining focused on desktop ads at a time when users prefer mobile as well as its somewhat expensive ad pricing structure.
"This has proven to be a headwind in growing Twitter's share of overall social budgets and in our ability to grow faster in both video and performance advertising," the company said in a letter to shareholders.
User growth has also slowed. Although active users grew 3% over the same period a year earlier to 313 million, that's just 1% higher than the 310 million it had at the end of the first quarter.