Twitter’s shares took a nosedive after the San Francisco company posted disappointing third-quarter user growth and a weak forecast for this quarter.
Twitter reported 320 million monthly active users in the third quarter, versus the 324 million expected by analysts. While it posted better-than-expected third-quarter revenue of $569 million, up 58% year-on-year, its fourth-quarter revenue guidance is $695 million to $710 million, compared with analysts’ expectations of $739.7 million.
Net loss for the third quarter was $132 million, compared with a net loss of $175 million in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings per share was 10 cents, versus 5 cents expected by analysts.
On news of the third-quarter results, Twitter shares plunged roughly 13% to $27.30 in after-hours trading Tuesday. The stock rallied to $31.07 on Wednesday.
“It’s not a great debut for Jack Dorsey, who was appointed CEO earlier this month,” Business Insider wrote. “Wall Street will be looking for answers about how Dorsey intends to revitalize the company’s flagging user growth and reverse the growing impression that Twitter could become a social-networking also-ran.”
While the company added a total of four million new users this quarter, Facebook added 49 million new monthly users during its second quarter.
Since Dorsey became CEO, the company has unveiled its Moments feature, a long-anticipated play to lure new users to Twitter. It has also laid off 336 employees.
“With an underwhelming third-quarter financial report and a dismal forecast for its fourth quarter, the amount of time Dorsey … has to pull off a rescue could be limited,” Computerworld said. “Very limited.”
“The honeymoon is over,” said Jeff Kagan, an independent industry analyst. “Dorsey is a heavy hitter but he needs to make Twitter grow with users and earnings. I do think both Twitter and Jack Dorsey are winners, even though the stock does not reflect it yet. The real question is when will the stock start to reflect it?”