What happened

Shares of Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) were surging on Thursday, rising as much as 22.3%. As of 11:03 a.m. EDT, the stock was up 16.8%.

The stock's gain follows Twitter's better-than-expected third-quarter results, which featured sharp growth in revenue and earnings per share. The outperformance on these key financial metrics occurred despite the company's aggressive removal of more spammy and malicious accounts. 

A woman using her smartphone

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Twitter's revenue increased 29% year over year to $758 million. On average, analysts were expecting revenue of about $703 million. The company's non-GAAP earnings per share for its third quarter were $0.21 -- up from $0.10 in the year-ago quarter. Twitter's third-quarter EPS beat a consensus analyst forecast for $0.14. 

Twitter's strong top line was driven by "better-than-expected growth across most products and geographies," management said in its third-quarter shareholder letter, and this strong revenue growth, in turn, "drove better-than-expected profitability."

As expected, monthly active users took a hit during the quarter, coming in at 326 million. This was down 9 million sequentially. But daily active users increased 9% year over year.

Now what

Twitter said it expects its fourth-quarter EBITDA to be between $320 million and $340 million, up from $308 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. 

In addition, management forecast that further efforts to improve the health of its platform will lead to monthly active users falling by mid-single-digit millions sequentially. But Twitter encouraged investors to focus on its daily active user growth, which it said "continues to be the best measure of our success in driving the use of Twitter as a daily utility."

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.