Blast Off for Twitter Earnings

Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) was one social media earnings report we were highly awaiting, and now the stock went into blast off mode. Twitter was expected to lose a penny in earnings per share. After seeing the so-called whisper number from, we asked if Twitter could manage to have breakeven earnings. Well, Twitter turned in adjusted earnings of $0.02 per share.

Revenue was $312 million, up handily from estimates of $283 million. It is not normal for companies to come in 10% above the consensus estimates, and this may mean that the growth rate may not be slowing as much as expected. Advertising revenue was $277 million, and international revenue was $102 million. Data licensing and “other” revenue was $35 million.

Another key metric is that Twitter’s average monthly active users were 271 million. That is marginally higher than what we were looking for, but it is not as much of a blowout as the revenue and earnings. Advertising revenue per 1,000 timeline views also went to $1.60 — nice considering that there were some 173 billion timeline views.

Twitter did not stop there. Third quarter revenue guidance was lifted to a range of $330 million to $340 million, versus $323.7 million expected from Thomson Reuters.

The 2014 guidance is now being raised to $1.31 billion to $1.33 billion in 2014 revenue. Thomson Reuters has estimates of $1.27 billion. The company also raised its EBITDA views to a range of $210 million to $230 million, but it maintained its target of $330 million to $390 million for 2014 capital expenditures.

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Twitter ended its second with cash and equivalents of about $2.1 billion. Trading in the after-hours was more than strong. Twitter closed at $38.59, and the initial trading sent shares up to above $49 shortly before 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time.