Twitter’s brief history of earnings rallies shows they often don’t last

Earnings

Shares of Twitter surged by 15% last Thursday after a record increase in quarterly user growth, but the social media company already has given back some of those stocks gains. That’s not a surprise, according to history, as big Twitter rallies in the recent past quickly reverse.

Following similar one-day moves, Twitter shares are down, on average, near-5% a month later, according to a CNBC analysis of Kensho, a hedge fund trading tool. Twitter shares trade negatively 60% of the time during these one-month periods, which have occurred five times in the past five years.

Monetizable daily active users, or MDAUs, a key Twitter metric, grew 21% to 152 million, beating Wall Street’s expectation of 147.5 million. Its first-quarter revenue guidance was a little light, between $825 million and $885 million, compared with the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $873 million.

In the third-quarter earnings, Twitter revenue had come up short and the stock had dropped by more than 20% on a variety of concerns related to its Mobile Application Promotion product, which hurt its ability to target ads and share measurement data with partners.

Fourth-quarter revenue of $1.01 billion was above the $996.7 million expected, but Twitter warned shareholders that the headwinds will “continue to weigh on the overall performance of our advertising business in the near term.”

Twitter CFO Ned Segal told CNBC in a post-earnings interview that expenses will grow in 2020 as a result of recent user growth.

“When you add 26 million people to the service when more than half of it is tied directly to product improvements, you build a confidence to continue to execute against your strategy and the execution we’ve been able to deliver over the last few years,” Segal said.

Segal told analysts on the earnings call that “advertiser sentiment remains strong.”

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