Twitter reports first-ever profit, boosting shares
New York (Reuters): Twitter Inc. on Thursday soared the most since its market debut in 2013 after it posted the first growth in four quarters, driven by improvements to its app and added video content that are persuading advertisers to boost spending on the social network.
Revenue was up two percent from a year ago to a better-than-expected $732 million, while the number of monthly active users rose modestly to 330 million.
The company topped analysts’ average sales estimates in the fourth quarter and for the first time reported a real profit, a milestone in Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey’s turnaround effort.
Monthly active users were little changed from the prior quarter at 330 million, a lower-than-projected total that the company attributed in part to stepped-up efforts to reduce spam, malicious activity and fake accounts.
After aggressively slashing spending over the past few years, Twitter will invest in products this year that increase audience engagement, which will causes expenses to “more closely align with revenues,” Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal said during a conference call.
The shares soared as much as 30 percent, the most since Nov. 7, 2013, to $35 in New York trading. That brings gains over the past 12 months to 77 percent.
Chief executive Jack Dorsey welcomed “a strong finish to the year,” and added “I’m proud of the steady progress we made in 2017, and confident in our path ahead.”