Twitter (TWTR) Fourth Quarter 2020 Results

Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey speaks during a press event at CES 2019 on January 9, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

david becker | Getty Images News | Getty Images

from Twitter the stock rose slightly in after-hours trading on Tuesday after the company announced its fourth quarter results, as the company beat Wall Street expectations for earnings and revenue. But the company failed to meet the growth expectations of Wall Street users.

Here are the key numbers:

  • Earnings per share: 38 cents, adjusted, vs. 31 cents forecast by Refinitiv
  • Revenue: $1.29 billion vs $1.19 billion predicted by Refinitiv
  • Monetizable Daily Active Users (mDAUs): 192 million against 193.5 million expected, according to StreetAccount

Looking ahead, Twitter said it expects revenue to grow faster than expenses in 2021, assuming the pandemic continues to improve and factoring in an expected “modest impact” of Apple’s upcoming privacy changes to iOS 14. However, the company has warned that it expects workforce growth of more than 20% this year, with overall spending increasing by more than 25%.

Twitter said it expects revenue of between $940 million and $1.04 billion in the first quarter. Analysts were expecting forecasts of $965 million on average, according to Refinitiv.

Twitter also noted that despite “the unusual circumstances” in the first quarter, the increase in the “average absolute mDAU” through the end of January was above the average of the past four years. This statistic may have been a reference to the company’s January 8 decision to permanently suspend the account of former President Donald Trump. The company said it expects mDAU to grow around 20% year-over-year in the first quarter.

“We’re a platform that’s obviously much bigger than any topic or any account,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told analysts on a call.

Later, when asked a variation of the same question, Dorsey reiterated that 80% of Twitter’s audience is outside of the United States. Dorsey added that Twitter users can follow more than 6,000 different topics, explaining that these topics drive growth.

“We have a global service. We don’t just depend on the news and politics that drive Twitter,” Dorsey said. “That’s why I believe it’s so critical and so important to be able to track topics and interests.”

Twitter’s total mDAU count rose 5 million from the third quarter to 192 million, but was below analysts’ expectations of 193.5 million. The user base grew by 26.3% compared to a year ago.

According to the report, Twitter’s ad revenue grew 31% year-over-year to $1.15 billion, with total ad engagement growing 35% over the same period.

Twitter noted that revenue from its Mobile Application Promotion (MAP) offering, part of its direct-response advertising business, grew 50% year-over-year in the fourth quarter. The company announced the launch of its rebuilt MAP product on Monday and said in its earnings report that it “is expected to increase our addressable market and diversify our customer base.”

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