Twitter, Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) is scheduled to release its fourth-quarter earnings report before the markets open on Thursday. After a great many ups and downs, which have been mostly downs, Twitter’s shares have stabilized and are actually growing. At this point it seems that shares have settled to the point where they will trade on earnings rather than speculation.
Twitter has gained huge support from President Trump as his primary means of communicating with the world, and as a result more people are downloading and using the app. However, Twitter’s most perplexing problem, despite the activity, continues to be that marketers have not been able to turn this activity into successful advertising campaigns. The worry about the company is that this progress will never happen.
Looking at the earnings report that comes out Thursday morning, the consensus estimates are calling for $0.12 in earnings per share (EPS) and $740.14 million in revenue. The same period from last year had $0.16 in EPS and $710.47 million in revenue.
It’s worth noting that recently analysts have been growing more positive on Twitter as shares have beat the markets in 2017. So far in 2016 Twitter has actually outperformed the broad markets with the stock up over 14% year to date. Over the past 52-weeks the stock was up closer to 30%.
Growing user engagement has been the main driver of the stock in this time. BTIG noted in their report that there has been a meaningful uptick in downloads of the Twitter application on iOS devices domestically and a CivicScience survey that shows an increase in daily usage. Although there is the caveat that the firm does not expect immediate financial benefits; increased engagement over the past few months cannot overcome the revenue downdraft from Twitter’s user growth challenges experienced in 2015 and into 2016. BTIG Research has a Buy rating with a $25 price target.
A few analysts weighed in on Twitter ahead of the earnings report:
- Cantor Fitzgerald has a Neutral rating with a $20 price target.
- Wedbush has a Neutral rating with a $14 price target.
- Loop Capital has a Hold rating with a $16 price target.
- Baird has a Neutral rating with a $17 price target.
- Pacific Crest has a Sector Weight rating with a $14 price target.
- Jefferies has a Buy rating with a $23 price target.
- BMO Capital Markets reiterated a Hold rating with a $16 price target.
Shares of Twitter were last trading up 2.4% at $18.70, with a consensus analyst price target of $16.32 and a 52-week trading range of $13.73 to $25.25.