Ahead of the firing of Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) Chief Operating Officer Adam Bain, which drove the company’s stock down, and after dismal earnings, the short interest in the social media company soared 24.5%, which is 13.3 million shares to 67.8 million. The figure is for the period that ended October 31. Shares sold short are now 11.4% of the float.
Twitter has put out two specific pieces of bad news in a row:
Twitter, Inc. … announced that Adam Bain has informed the company of his decision to step down as COO and explore opportunities outside the company. Anthony Noto who has served as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer since July, 2014, has been named COO. As COO he will continue to manage the live content business, and assume responsibility for Twitter’s revenue generating organizations including global advertising sales, data, revenue product, and MoPub, as well as global partnerships and business development, effective immediately. Bain will assist with the transition of the COO role over the coming weeks
It is reasonable to ask whether Noto, a financial executive, has any background to qualify him for the job.
Q3 revenue totaled $616 million, an increase of 8% year-over-year.
• Advertising revenue totaled $545 million, an increase of 6% year-over-year. Mobile advertising revenue was 90% of total advertising revenue.
• Data licensing and other revenue totaled $71 million, an increase of 26% year-over-year.
• U.S. revenue totaled $374 million, an increase of 1% year-over-year.
• International revenue totaled $242 million, an increase of 21% year-over-year.
• Total ad engagements were up 91% year-over-year.
• Cost per engagement (CPE) was down 44% year-over-year.
Average monthly active users (MAUs) were 317 million for Q3, up 3% year-over-year and compared to 313 million in the previous quarter.
• Average U.S. MAUs were 67 million for Q3, up 1% year-over-year and compared to 66 million in the previous quarter.
• Average international MAUs were 250 million for Q3, up 4% year-over-year and compared to 247 million in the previous quarter.
Short sellers have a good chance to expect user additions will continue to slow.