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Twitter shares dive as user growth falls, but revenue is still growing

By Ananth Baliga   |   April 29, 2014 at 5:45 PM   |   Comments

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SAN FRANCISCO, April 29 (UPI) -- Twitter shares fell nine percent following the release of its first-quarter earnings, as monthly active users increased 25 percent, below expectations.

Twitter beat Wall Street's financial expectations as revenues jumped to $250.49 million from $114.34 million, from a year ago. But the social media company reported a first-quarter loss of $132.36 million, or 23 cents a share, compared with a loss of $27.03 million, or 21 cents a share, from a year earlier.

"We had a very strong first quarter," CEO Dick Costolo said in a statement. "Revenue growth accelerated on a year-over-year basis fueled by increased engagement and user growth."

The company reported 255 million monthly active users, which was healthy, but was below analysts' expectation of about 257 million monthly users. Mobile users continued to grow reaching 198 million, up 31 percent from last year and accounting or 78% of total users.

Shyam Patil, an analyst with Wedbush Securities, said that Twitter showed "good monetization but the key metrics (users and timeline views) were below expectations driven by weakness internationally,"

Advertising revenue of $226 million, rose 125% over the same period last year, with the all important mobile revenues accounting for 80 percent of total ad revenues.

Twitter has been candid in admitting that it has struggled to make the service easy-to-use for new users, which is why it says it couldn't post growth rates like some of its competitors, such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.

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