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Twitter Earnings Released, Revenue Up 116%

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Twitter just released its earnings report for Q4 and fiscal year 2013, its first such report as a public company.

Revenue for the quarter was up 116% year-over-year at $243 million. For the year it was up 110% at $665 milllion.



CEO Dick Costolo said, “Twitter finished a great year with our strongest financial quarter to date. We are the only platform that is public, real-time, conversational and widely distributed and I’m excited by the number of initiatives we have underway to further build upon the Twitter experience.”

Average monthly active users were 241 million by the end of the year. This was an increase of 30% year-over-year. Mobile monthly active users were 184 million in Q4, up 37% year-over-year, representing 76% of total MAUs. Timeline views reached 148 billion during the quarter, up 26% year-over-year.




User growth has apparently not been fast enough for investors, as the stock is plummeting in after hours trading despite revenues beating Wall Street estimates.

Ad revenue per thousand timeline views reached $1.49. That’s up 76% year-over-year.


On the earnings call, Costolo talked up Twitter use surrounding the show The Voice. Moments like these and the holiday shopping season (also referenced by CFO Mike Gupta), he said, contributed to a great quarter.


He did talk about user growth, saying the company is confident in its ability to continue to scale revenue by expanding global reach and ad products. He said they’re doubling down in 2014 to accelerate the growth of the core user base, a path it started down in Q4, he said.

He said buy bringing content forward, and pushing the “scaffolding of the language of Twitter” to the background, they are increasing quality interactions, and have taken initial steps in the direction with media-forward timelines and inline social interactions. These are working well, he said.

He noted that favorites/retweets were up more than 35% since launching these features, and search is one of the fastest growing features with a 120 percent increase in total searches year over year.

It will be a combination of changes, Costolo said, that will start to change the slope of the growth curve.

Each timeline view is increasing in value, he said, as users are interacting at a much higher rate than ever before.

He said there is significant room for monetization growth in 2014 with new ad products. He noted that the international expansion of the self serve ads has just begun.

There will be “many more” launches in 2014.

Here’s the release in its entirety:

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Feb. 5, 2014 – Twitter, Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2013.

  • Q4 revenue of $243 million, up 116% year-over-year
  • Q4 net loss of $511 million and non-GAAP net income of $10 million
  • Q4 GAAP EPS of ($1.41) and non-GAAP EPS of $0.02
  • Q4 adjusted EBITDA of $45 million, representing an adjusted EBITDA margin of 18%
  • Full year revenue of $665 million, up 110% year-over-year
  • Full year net loss of $645 million and non-GAAP net loss of $34 million
  • Full year GAAP EPS of ($3.41) and non-GAAP EPS of ($0.18)
  • Full year adjusted EBITDA of $75 million, representing an adjusted EBITDA margin of 11%

“Twitter finished a great year with our strongest financial quarter to date,” said Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter. “We are the only platform that is public, real-time, conversational and widely distributed and I’m excited by the number of initiatives we have underway to further build upon the Twitter experience.”

For information regarding the non-GAAP financial measures discussed in this release, please see “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” and “Reconciliation of GAAP to Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below.

Fourth Quarter 2013 Operational Highlights

  • Average Monthly Active Users (MAUs) were 241 million as of December, 31, 2013, an increase of 30% year-over-year.
  • Mobile MAUs reached 184 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, an increase of 37% year-over-year, representing 76% of total MAUs.
  • Timeline views reached 148 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, an increase of 26% year-over-year.
  • Advertising revenue per thousand timeline views reached $1.49 in the fourth quarter of 2013, an increase of 76% year-over-year.

Fourth Quarter 2013 Product Highlights

  • Twitter continued to improve return on investment for its advertisers by launching a number of new advertising products including TV Conversation Targeting, Tailored Audiences, Conversion Tracking and Promoted Accounts in Timeline.
  • Twitter made its platform more accessible to a broader range of advertisers by launching its self-serve advertising platform to small and medium-sized businesses in the UK, Ireland and Canada.
  • Twitter continued to improve its overall user experience by launching a number of new product enhancements including media forward, in-line social actions, Twitter Alerts, custom timelines, and the ability to send and receive photos via direct message and swipe between timelines. Vine is also available in 19 new languages on both iOS and Android as of December 31, 2013.
  • Twitter closed the acquisition of MoPub, Inc. a mobile-focused advertising exchange, making it easier for its advertisers to automate and scale their advertising buys.

Fourth Quarter 2013 Financial Highlights

Revenue - Revenue for the fourth quarter of 2013 totaled $243 million, an increase of 116% compared to $112 million in the same period last year.

  • Advertising revenue totaled $220 million, an increase of 121% year-over-year.
  • Mobile advertising revenue was more than 75% of total advertising revenue.
  • Data licensing and other revenue totaled $23 million, an increase of 80% year-over-year.
  • International revenue totaled $66 million, an increase of 200% year-over-year. International revenue was 27% of total revenue.

Net loss - GAAP net loss was $511 million for the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to a net loss of $9 million in the same period last year. The company’s Q4 GAAP net loss included $521 million of stock-based compensation expense, of which $406 million was for restricted stock units previously granted to employees, for which no expense had been recognized, until the effective date of our initial public offering in accordance with GAAP.

Adjusted EBITDA - Adjusted EBITDA was $45 million for the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to $18 million in the same period last year.

Non-GAAP net income / loss - Non-GAAP net income was $10 million for the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to a Non-GAAP net loss of $0.3 million in the same period last year.

EPS - Basic and diluted GAAP EPS was ($1.41) for the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to ($0.07) in the same period last year.

Non-GAAP EPS - Non-GAAP EPS was $0.02 for the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to ($0.00) in the year ago period.

Capital expenditures - Purchases of property and equipment for the fourth quarter of 2013 were $29 million. Additionally, $60 million of equipment was procured or financed through capital leases during the fourth quarter of 2013.

Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities - As of December 31, 2013, cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities were approximately $2.2 billion, compared to $321 million as of September 30, 2013.

Outlook

Twitter’s outlook for the first quarter of 2014 is as follows:

  • Revenue is projected to be in the range of $230 million to $240 million.
  • Adjusted EBITDA is projected to be in the range of $10 million to $16 million.
  • Stock-based compensation expense is projected to be in the range of $145 million to $155 million excluding the impact of equity awards that may be granted in connection with potential future acquisitions.

Twitter’s outlook for the full year of 2014 is as follows:

  • Revenue is projected to be in the range of $1,150 million to $1,200 million.
  • Adjusted EBITDA is projected to be in the range of $150 million to $180 million.
  • Capital expenditures are projected to be in the range of $330 million to $390 million.
  • Stock-based compensation expense is projected to be in the range of $600 million to $650 million excluding the impact of equity awards that may be granted in connection with potential future acquisitions.

Webcast and Conference Call Details
Twitter will host a conference call today, February 5, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time (5:00 p.m. Eastern Time) to discuss financial results. Questions submitted via Twitter, directed to @TwitterIR, using the hashtag #TWTRearnings will be considered during the Q&A portion of the conference call in addition to questions submitted by conference call participants. A live webcast of the conference call, the company’s financial results and supplemental slides will be accessible from the Investor Relations page of the company’s website at investor.twitterinc.com. A replay will be archived and accessible at the same website after the conference call. Twitter has used, and intends to continue to use, its Investor Relations website (investor.twitterinc.com), as well as certain Twitter accounts (@dickc, @twitter and @twitterIR), as means of disclosing material non-public information and for complying with its disclosure obligations under Regulation FD.

About Twitter, Inc. 
Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) is a global platform for public self-expression and conversation in real time. By developing a fundamentally new way for people to create, distribute and discover content, we have democratized content creation and distribution, enabling any voice to echo around the world instantly and unfiltered. The service can be accessed at Twitter.com, via the Twitter mobile application and via text message. Available in more than 35 languages, Twitter has more than 240 million monthly active users. For more information, visit discover.twitter.com or follow @twitter.

Forward Looking Statements
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, including the Prospectus related to Twitter’s initial public offering of common stock filed pursuant to Rule 424(b) under the Securities Act of 1933 (Registration No. 333-191552), filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 7, 2013. The forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to Twitter as of the date hereof, and Twitter disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures
To supplement Twitter’s financial information presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States, or GAAP, the Company considers certain financial measures that are not prepared in accordance with GAAP, including adjusted EBITDA, non-GAAP net income (loss), and non-GAAP EPS. Twitter defines adjusted EBITDA as net loss adjusted to exclude stock-based compensation expense, depreciation and amortization expense, interest and other expenses and provision (benefit) for income taxes; and Twitter defines non-GAAP net income (loss) as net loss adjusted to exclude stock-based compensation expense, amortization of acquired intangible assets and the income tax effects related to acquisitions.

The Company uses the non-GAAP financial measures of adjusted EBITDA, non-GAAP net income (loss) and non-GAAP EPS in evaluating its operating results and for financial and operational decision-making purposes. Twitter believes that adjusted EBITDA, non-GAAP net income (loss) and non-GAAP EPS help identify underlying trends in its business that could otherwise be masked by the effect of the expenses that we exclude in adjusted EBITDA, non-GAAP net income (loss) and non-GAAP EPS. Twitter also believes that adjusted EBITDA, non-GAAP net income (loss) and non-GAAP EPS provide useful information about its operating results, enhance the overall understanding of the Company’s past performance and future prospects and allow for greater transparency with respect to key metrics used by the Company’s management in its financial and operational decision-making. Twitter uses these measures to establish budgets and operational goals for managing its business and evaluating its performance. The Company is presenting these non-GAAP financial measures to assist investors in seeing the Company’s operating results through the eyes of management, and because it believes that these measures provide an additional tool for investors to use in comparing Twitter’s core business operating results over multiple periods with other companies in its industry.

These non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered in isolation from, or as a substitute for, financial information prepared in accordance with GAAP. These non-GAAP financial measures are not based on any standardized methodology prescribed by GAAP and are not necessarily comparable to similarly-titled measures presented by other companies.

For future periods, Twitter is unable to provide a reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA to net loss as a result of the uncertainty regarding, and the potential variability of, depreciation and amortization expense, interest and other expenses and provision (benefit) for income taxes, that are expected to be incurred in the future.

Contacts
Investors:
Nils Erdmann
ir@twitter.com

Press:
Jim Prosser
jprosser@twitter.com



 

Image via Twitter

Twitter Earnings Released, Revenue Up 116%
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