On a day when Twitter (TWTR) - Get Reportannounced a new timeline feature, the company's shares -- already battered by a decline of nearly 40% so far in 2016 -- rose by 4% to $14.98 in regular trading before the company released quarterly earnings.
After that the shares started to sink, at one point by about 10% after-hours before becoming a 1.8% decline to $14.71. Twitter disclosed that its user numbers had declined during the fourth period. The company also set its 2016 first quarter guidance at $595 million to $610 million -- below estimates of $629.25 million.
The company said its monthly active users, excluding SMS Fast Followers, dropped to 305 million for the 2015 fourth quarter, compared with 307 million for the third quarter.
Twitter posted earnings of 16 cents per share on revenue of $710.47 million for the latest quarter, beating estimates of earnings of 12 cents per share on $709.94 million in revenue.
Twitter is a holding in Action Alerts PLUS, the charitable trust managed by TheStreet's Jim Cramer.
Last quarter, the San Francisco-based micro-blogging site reported revenue of $569 million, up 58% from the same period a year earlier, with earnings of 10 cents per share," reported TheStreet's Rebecca Borison in a report Wednesday.
However, user growth was also tepid in the third quarter, Borison reported. "Twitter added only four million monthly active users in the quarter (including SMS Fast Followers, meaning people who get tweets as text messages), bringing its total to 320 million MAUs, up 11% year over year. Excluding SMS Fast Followers, though, Twitter only added three million monthly active users in the quarter, for a total of 307 million, an 8% year over year increase" for the third period.
In October, Twitter provided guidance of $695 million to $710 million in revenue for the fourth quarter, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of between $155 million and $175 million.
Regarding the changes to the company's timeline, Mike Jahr, Twitter's senior engineering manager, provided details in a company blog post Wednesday morning: "You follow hundreds of people on Twitter -- maybe thousands -- and when you open Twitter, it can feel like you've missed some of their most important Tweets. Today, we're excited to share a new timeline feature that helps you catch up on the best Tweets from people you follow.
"Here's how it works. You flip on the feature in your settings; then when you open Twitter after being away for a while, the Tweets you're most likely to care about will appear at the top of your timeline -- still recent and in reverse chronological order. The rest of the Tweets will be displayed right underneath, also in reverse chronological order, as always. At any point, just pull-to-refresh to see all new Tweets at the top in the live, up-to-the-second experience you already know and love.
"We've already seen that people who use this new feature tend to Retweet and Tweet more, creating more live commentary and conversations, which is great for everyone. To check it out now, just go into the timeline section of your settings and choose 'Show me the best Tweets first'."
Time Warner (TWX) declined by 5% Wednesday, closing at $60.03, after the company reported disappointing earnings.
The entertainment company reported "a bigger-than-expected drop in quarterly revenue as subscription revenue for its cable channel HBO and Turner television network disappointed Wall Street," according to a Reuters report.
"Revenue at Warner Bros, the company's movie studio, also fell 13%, hurt by a lack of hit movie releases and a strong dollar, overshadowing a quarterly profit beat and an increased profit forecast for the year," the news service said.
The company's shares fell at one point during the day to $57, their lowest level in almost three years.
"Apple Music on Sonos was tested by hundreds of thousands of listeners through a successful beta program that started in early December," Sonos said in a release.
"To stream Apple Music on Sonos, customers simply select 'Add Music Services' from any Sonos controller app, scroll down to the Apple Music icon, and log in.
Shares of Apple, which is also held by Action Alerts PLUS, closed Wednesday at $94.27, down about 1%.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.