Twitter Inc. TWTR-N posted solid results for the last three months of 2020, capping what chief executive officer Jack Dorsey called “an extraordinary year” for the platform. New users signed on in large numbers to follow the world’s events in real time despite the challenges of election misinformation and intensifying calls to ban now-former U.S. president Donald Trump.
The San Francisco-based company earned US$222.1-million, or 27 U.S. cents per share, in the October-December period. That’s up 87 per cent from US$118.8-million, or 15 U.S. cents per share, a year earlier.
Revenue grew 28 per cent to US$1.29-billion from US$1-billion. Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of 29 U.S. cents per share and revenue of US$1.18-billion, according to a poll by FactSet.
Twitter had 192 million daily users, on average, in the quarter, up 27 per cent year over year. By comparison, Facebook had 1.84 billion daily users on average in December, 2020, an increase of 11 per cent year over year. Twitter does not disclose monthly user figures.
Twitter said it expects 2021 revenue to grow faster than expenses – meaning it would turn a profit – but did not give more specific guidance. And that’s assuming the coronavirus pandemic continues to improve and the company sees a “modest” effect from new privacy changes associated with Apple’s iOS 14.
Apple is preparing to roll out a new privacy control in the early spring to prevent iPhone apps from secretly shadowing people, which could hurt companies that rely on tracking people to show personalized advertisements – like Facebook and Twitter.
Twitter’s shares climbed US$1.23, or 2 per cent, to US$61.10 in after-hours trading after the results came out. The stock had closed up US$1.71, or 2.9 per cent, at US$59.87.
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