Twitter, Inc. Earnings Today: 3 Metrics to Watch

The pressure is on: Can Twitter's tweets help the company serve up some big numbers today?

Apr 29, 2014 at 2:05PM

Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) reports first-quarter earnings today. Here are the most important metrics to watch.

Twtr Bird

Photo by Marisa Allegra Williams (@marisa). Source: Twitter.

User growth
In Q4, Twitter's slower-than-expected user growth sparked concern among investors. Monthly active users grew by only 4% sequentially. The decline in sequential growth rates was the fifth in a row for the company. As I explained more extensively in another article, investors should hope the social site can at least maintain last quarter's 4% growth rate; with such a bullish valuation on the stock, it's imperative for Twitter to continue to rapidly grow its user base.

Advertising revenue per thousand timeline views
It's been a tough few months for Twitter stock since the company reported underwhelming user growth last quarter. The market's concerns for its growth trajectory combined with a broader market sell-off of growth stocks has weighed heavily on Twitter shares, sending them more than 40% lower from an all-time high of $75 in December.

But did slow user growth in Q4 overshadow the Twitter's impressive business performance? When it comes to monetization, it is doing exceptionally well. In Q4, Twitter's ad revenue blew past estimates. What drove the 116% year-over-year revenue growth? Mostly, the impressive 76% year-over-year growth in advertising revenue per thousand timeline views. This marked the third quarter in a row the rate actually accelerated. 

Given how early Twitter is in its growth story, investors should hope Twitter can at least maintain last quarter's growth in this important metric. In other words, investors should expect ad revenue per thousand timeline views to come in at $1.30 or higher.

Twtr Hq

Photo by Aaron Durand (@everydaydude). Source: Twitter.

Twitter says one of the ways it measures engagement is by timeline views per monthly active user. But the company is careful to note that investors should expect short-term fluctuations in the metric. Certain changes to the timeline can significantly impact the metric. For instance, timeline changes Twitter implemented last quarter made each visit more valuable and effective for users, leading to fewer timeline visits. But these same changes helped drive big gains in ad revenue per 1,000 timeline views.

While volatility in the metric should be expected in Q1, it could be a bad sign if this engagement metric falls meaningfully, especially after a solid decline last quarter. In Q4, timeline views per monthly active user were down 10% sequentially and 3% year over year. With the metric hitting 613 in Q4, investors should expect Twitter to hold the metric above 600 in Q1. If the metric falls below 600, look for a sensible explanation in Twitter's earnings call later this evening.

Think of these metrics as benchmark comparisons. If Twitter deviates meaningfully from any of these expectations, seek out an explanation.

Overall, the consensus analyst estimate for Twitter today is revenue of $241 million and a loss of $0.03 per share.

Twitter wants to become your "second screen," but what about your first?
You know cable's going away. But do you know how to profit? There's $2.2 trillion out there to be had. Currently, cable grabs a big piece of it. That won't last. And when cable falters, three companies are poised to benefit. Click here for their names. Hint: They're not Netflix, Google, and Apple. 


Daniel Sparks owns shares of Twitter. The Motley Fool recommends Twitter. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.

Compare Brokers