UPDATED 13:14 EDT / APRIL 28 2022

APPS

Twitter posts mixed first-quarter financial results amid Elon Musk acquisition

Twitter Inc. today released a mixed first-quarter earnings report, disclosing that revenue climbed 16% in the three months through March 31 to reach $1.2 billion.

The earnings report comes days after Twitter accepted a $44 billion acquisition offer from Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk. The offer values the company at $52.4 per share, above the approximately $49 per share at which it’s currently trading. The proposed acquisition price is 38% higher than the price at which Twitter’s stock traded on April 1, the day before Musk disclosed that he purchased a 9.2% stake in the company. 

The $1.2 billion in revenue that Twitter generated during the first three months of 2022 fell short of the $1.26 billion forecasted by the Refinitiv consensus estimate. The company’s user base, however, grew at a faster pace than analysts were expecting. Twitter’s monetizable daily active user count grew 15.9%, to 229 million users, higher than the 226.9 million expected by analysts.

Twitter’s share were rising about 1.6% today, short of the 2.6% rise in the Nasdaq exchange.

The company also disclosed today that it has revised the user base numbers for several past quarters because of an error. It was caused by an update that Twitter released on March 2019. From the first quarter of 2020 to the fourth quarter of 2021, the error led the company to post between 1.4 million and 1.9 million more monetizable daily active users in earnings reports than it had.

Another development that factored into Twitter’s earnings report is the recent sale of its MoPub subsidiary. MoPub developed a cloud platform designed to help mobile developers monetize their apps by delivering ads to users. It became part of Twitter through a 2013 acquisition and generated about $188 million in annual revenue as of 2020.

Twitter last October inked a deal to sell MoPub to AppLovin Corp., a publicly traded advertising technology company, for $1.05 billion. The transaction closed in January, lifting Twitter’s first-quarter profit. 

Twitter reported net income of $513 million for the quarter compared with $68 million a year ago, which translated into diluted earnings per share of 61 cents. Twitter posted earnings of eight cents per share in the first quarter of 2021. 

Excluding MoPub, Twitter achieved a revenue growth rate of 22% in the first quarter. The company’s advertising business, which generates the bulk of its revenues, increased sales by 23%, to $1.11 billion.

Citing the pending acquisition by Elon Musk, Twitter didn’t provide financial guidance for the next quarter or full year as part of its quarterly report today. Musk plans to finance the transaction with $21 billion in equity financing and $25.5 billion of debt and margin loan financing. The acquisition is expected to close by year’s end.

Photo: Unsplash

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