Why Twilio Inc. Stock Dropped 26.4% in May

The cloud communications platform specialist started 2017 on a high note, but left investors worried with weak guidance. Here's what happened.

Steve Symington
Steve Symington
Jun 15, 2017 at 6:59PM
Technology and Telecom

What happened

Shares of Twilio Inc. (NYSE:TWLO) plunged 26.4% in the month of May, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, after the cloud communications platform company announced better-than-expected first-quarter 2017 results but followed with disappointing guidance. 

So what

More specifically, revenue last quarter climbed 47% year over year to $87.4 million, helped by a 42.1% increase in active customer accounts over the past year, to 40,696. On the bottom line, that translated to an adjusted (non-GAAP) net loss of $3.2 million, or $0.04 per share, narrowed from an adjusted net loss of $0.05 per share in the same year-ago period. By comparison, Twilio's guidance called for an even larger net loss of $0.07 per share on revenue of just $83 million. 

Twilio Logo


During the subsequent conference call, however, Twilio co-founder and CEO Jeff Lawson revealed that contributions from Uber -- the company's single largest customer at 12% of total revenue last quarter -- are expected to decline going forward as the fare-based ride company looks to use multiple communications platforms (including Twilio) as well as in-house solutions. 

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Now what

Lawson also noted that revenue excluding Uber climbed 60% year over year last quarter, and voiced his belief that its actions are not indicative of most companies' needs.

But Uber's diminished role will still hit Twilio's top and bottom lines. For the full year, Twilio reduced its guidance to call for revenue in the range of $356 million to $362 million (down from $364 million to $372 million previously) and for an adjusted net loss per share of $0.30 to $0.27 (down from $0.19 to $0.15 before).

All things considered, Twilio's long-term story appears to remain intact. But until Twilio can prove Uber's step back isn't a symptom of a broader problem, it's hard to blame investors for bidding shares down last month.