Social network Twitter (TWTR) is benefiting from strong product execution and a rebounding economy. On Thursday afternoon, the tech company reported revenue far ahead of analyst estimates. Momentum was broad-based, with "better-than-expected performance across all major products and geographies," Twitter said in its second-quarter shareholder letter.
To take a closer look at the company's quarterly performance, here are five key metrics from its earnings release.
1. Soaring revenue
Total revenue increased 74% year over year, helping the company's top line come in at $1.19 billion. Analysts, on average, were expecting revenue of $1.07 billion.
Notably, however, this growth rate understates the company's momentum in its core business. Advertising revenue, which represents the bulk of Twitter's total revenue, grew 87% year over year. A slower growth rate of 13% in the company's "data licensing and other" segment weighed on Twitter's reported growth rate.
Of course, investors should keep in mind that Twitter's strong top-line growth rate was bolstered by an easy comparison in the pandemic-stricken year-ago quarter, when revenue declined 19% year over year.
2. Double-digit user growth
Twitter's monetizable daily active users increased by 7 million sequentially and 20 million year over year, translating to a year-over-year growth rate of 11%.
This growth, Twitter said in its second-quarter update, was "driven by ongoing product improvements and global conversation around current events."
3. Headwinds for user growth domestically
But Twitter's monetizable daily active users in the U.S. declined by 1 million sequentially. Helping explain this weakness, management notes the quarter featured "lighter news cycles in the U.S. as well as the beginning of reopening across many communities, where consumer behavior likely hasn't normalized."
Longer-term, however, management said it is confident its user growth in the U.S. (and internationally) will accelerate.
4. Aggressive spending
To capitalize on the company's momentum, Twitter plans to spend aggressively in 2021.
"We now expect headcount, along with total costs and expenses, to grow 30% or more for the full year of 2021 with a focus on engineering and product," Twitter said.
Importantly, management also noted that it expects revenue growth to outpace its expense growth.
5. Robust guidance
Management guided for third-quarter revenue of $1.22 billion to $1.30 billion, with the midpoint of this range representing 62% year-over-year growth.
Overall, there was a lot to like from Twitter's second-quarter update. The company is benefiting from a range of product catalysts, a broad increase in advertiser demand, and strong momentum across every geography. No wonder management provided optimistic guidance.