Twitter Finally Makes a Profit, but There's Bad News, Too

Monthly active users aren't growing
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 8, 2018 7:57 AM CST
Twitter Does Something It's Never Done: Makes a Profit
This Dec. 16, 2014, file photo shows Twitter headquarters in San Francisco. Twitter reports earnings Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

Twitter beat Wall Street's cautious expectations with its first quarterly profit in history, but that isn't going to solve the company's broader problems any time soon, reports the AP. On Thursday, the company said it had an average of 330 million monthly active users in the final three months of last year, unchanged from the previous quarter and below Wall Street's estimate of 333 million. But in some good news for the company, Thursday's results were stronger than expected. The company grew revenue by 2% to $732 million, above the $687 million that analysts polled by FactSet were expecting. Its net income—a first in the company's nearly 12-year history—was $91 million, or 12 cents per share. Adjusted earnings were 19 cents, above analysts' expectations of 14 cents. The company's stock jumped 21% in pre-market trading.

The company isn't alone in dealing with abuse and attempts by Russian agents to spread misinformation. But its troubles are compounded by a revolving door of executives and stagnant user growth. Last month, Chief Operating Officer Anthony Noto announced his resignation from the company, and Twitter hasn't replaced him, saying only that it would split his duties between "executives." Then there's the issue of automated accounts made to look like real people, exposed by a recent New York Times report. Fake accounts aren't a new problem for Twitter, which estimates that less than 5% of monthly active users are fake. But the Times referenced a report saying it could be as high as 15%. As one analyst puts it, anything that could jeopardize advertisers' ability to see how many people they will reach "is going to cause concern."

(More Twitter stories.)

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