The company that runs the popular micro blog platform – Twitter – released Thursday their first financial report since it got listed on the Stock exchange in November last year. Not good. The stock tumbled 24%, making this the worst day in the stock market for Twitter. The reason for the Twitter dump is based on the same assessment that sent the Facebook shares tumbling just after their initial public offering (IPO) – will this company ever be profitable?
“These risks include the possibility that: our user base and engagement do not continue to grow; advertisers reduce or discontinue their spending on Twitter; data partners reduce or discontinue their purchases of data licenses from Twitter; and Twitter experiences expenses that exceed its expectations..”
Oh, dear! This does not look good for Twitter. The total number of new accounts continued to rise in the last quarter of 2013, but at a much slower pace than earlier. But more alarming; the actual usage of Twitter have started to decrease.
While Chief Executive Officer Dick Costolo said in an earnings call that he is focused on reversing the trend, Twitter’s stock fell as low as $50 in New York today and was at $50.60 as of 9:35 a.m. Before today, the shares had more than doubled since debuting on the stock market at $26 on Nov. 6
Costolo said on the earnings call that the company has a plan to increase the number of users and engagement, primarily by making the site easier to use.
“Up until last year, our growth has been viral and organic,” he said. “Growth was something that happened to us.” Now “it will be a combination of changes introduced over the course of the year that will start to change the slope of the growth curve.”
But that may be easier said than done.
In the forward-looking investor relations statement, Twitter Inc. reports:
“This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements generally relate to future events or Twitter’s future financial or operating performance. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements because they contain words such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “could,” “intends,” “target,” “projects,” “contemplates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential” or “continue” or the negative of these words or other similar terms or expressions that concern our expectations, strategy, plans or intentions. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, Twitter’s expectations regarding its revenue, adjusted EBITDA, capital expenditures and stock-based compensation expense for the first quarter and full year 2014. The Company’s expectations and beliefs regarding these matters may not materialize, and actual results in future periods are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. These risks include the possibility that: our user base and engagement do not continue to grow; advertisers reduce or discontinue their spending on Twitter; data partners reduce or discontinue their purchases of data licenses from Twitter; and Twitter experiences expenses that exceed its expectations. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are also subject to other risks and uncertainties, including those more fully described in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission..”
The future of Twitter is insecure, plain and simple.
“Twitter needs to answer the question about whether it can ever become a mass-market product, or whether it’s more destined to be a niche for news junkies,” Robert Peck, an analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Inc. in New York, says in an interview with Bloomberg News.
“Depending on how fast it’s growing, that’s what we’re willing to pay for it.”
Here’s the full report from Twitter Inc.
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