What happened

Shares of social network Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) soared on Thursday, rising as much as 29.6%. The stock was up about 17% at noon.

The stock's gain followed a better-than-expected fourth-quarter report. During the quarter, the company not only returned to revenue growth, but also reported its first-ever GAAP profit. In addition, both Twitter's revenue and non-GAAP EPS were higher than consensus estimates.

A businessman looks at his smartphone

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

For Q4, Twitter reported revenue of $732 million, up 2% year over year from $717 million. This was a pleasant change from the 4% year-over-year revenue decline in Q3. GAAP net income was $91 million, or $0.12 per share -- up from a loss per share of $0.23 in the year-ago quarter. Non-GAAP EPS for the quarter was $0.19 -- up from $0.11 in the year-ago quarter.

On average, analysts were expecting Twitter to report revenue and non-GAAP EPS of about $686 million and $0.14, respectively. 

The daily active users number was notably up 12% year over year, marking Twitter's fifth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth in the key metric.

Now what

Management indicated it sees profitability as here to stay. "We currently expect to be GAAP profitable for the full year 2018," Twitter said.

It's benefiting from strong growth in engagement, improved return on investment on ad products, double-digit percentage growth in daily active users, and better sales execution during its fourth quarter, and investors should look for these trends to persist this year.

Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Twitter. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.