Is This the Return of Twitter?

Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) reported its most recent quarterly results before the markets opened on Thursday. The social media giant said that it had $0.19 in earnings per share (EPS) and $731.6 million in revenue. That compares with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters of $0.14 in EPS on revenue of $686.06 million. In the fourth quarter of last year, the company said it had EPS of $0.11 and $717.21 million in revenue.

During the quarter, average monthly active users totaled 330 million, flat quarter-over-quarter and up 4% year-over-year. Average daily active users (DAU) grew 12% from a year ago, marking the fifth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth.

At the same time, adjusted EBITDA was $308 million, or 42% of total revenue, compared to $215 million, or 30% of total revenue, for the same period last year.

Looking ahead to the first quarter, the company expects to see adjusted EBITDA in the range of $185 million to $205 million and adjusted EBITDA margin in the range of 33% to 34%. The consensus estimates are calling for $0.09 in EPS and $572.91 million in revenue for the coming quarter.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, commented:

Q4 was a strong finish to the year. We returned to revenue growth, achieved our goal of GAAP profitability, increased our shipping cadence, and reached five consecutive quarters of double digit DAU growth. I’m proud of the steady progress we made in 2017, and confident in our path ahead.

Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal added:

Total revenue in the fourth quarter increased 2% year-over-year, and owned-and-operated advertising revenue increased 7% year-over-year, driven by continued strong engagement growth, improvements in our revenue products, improved return for advertisers, and better sales execution. We achieved record GAAP net margins and our long-term target adjusted EBITDA margin range in the quarter, reflecting our continued prioritization and disciplined execution.

Shares of Twitter closed Wednesday up nearly 7% at $26.91, with a consensus analyst price target of $21.29 and a 52-week trading range of $14.12 to $27.33. Following the announcement, the stock was up about 21% at $32.56 in early trading indications Thursday.

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