Updated from 4:19 p.m. to include analyst comments in the fourth paragraph.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Twitter (TWTR) - Get Twitter, Inc. Report shares fell nearly 20% on Tuesday following an earnings leak in which the social networking service's first-quarter earnings came out early.
Twitter reported earnings of seven cents per share on revenue of $435.9 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were expecting a gain of 4 cents a share on $456.2 million in revenue.
For the second quarter, Twitter said it expects second-quarter revenue to between $470 and $485 million, well below the $538 million analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were expecting. The company also lowered its full year 2015 revenue forecast, saying it now sees sales between $2.17 billion and $2.27 billion. The company's prior forecast was between $2.3 billion and $2.35 billion.
"This has been a company that has delivered somewhat inconsistent results as a public company and I think the stock reflects that," said S&P Capital IQ analyst Scott Kessler. My sense is that questions will arise of the company, management and the strategy. I think it's fair to say that these results put Twitter into a position that they need to deliver and demonstrate against expectations. I think we could see a more cautious base of investors given some of the indications."
Shares fell 18.2% to $42.27 in the regular session, and were moving lower in after-hours, down 0.90% to $41.89.
One of the primary concerns for Twitter has been its inability to grow users, but the company came in slightly ahead of what Wall Street was expecting for the first quarter. The San Francisco-based Twitter ended the period with 302 million monthly active users (MAUs), up 14 million from the fourth quarter. Mobile MAUs at the end of the first quarter was 241.6 million.
Twitter had been expected to announce results after market close, but it appears the company's report leaked out, and was tweeted to the world by a firm called Selerity, using the handle @selerity.
Shares were halted at 3:27pm after shares of the social networking company fell 3.1% to $50.07 after falling as low as $49.45.
The company also announced that it would allow some of its ad sales to be handled by Google's (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report (GOOG) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class C Report DoubleClick unit. The new deal, which is part of a previously announced partnership with Google, will allow advertisers to measure and buy sponsored tweets using DoubleClick.
The financial intelligence firm Selerity tweeted the results prior to the actual release: