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Twitter Q3 2020 revenue smashes estimates with $936 million as user growth slows

Twitter today reported strong revenue growth for Q3 2020, while monetizable users were up year-on-year (YoY) but fell short of estimates. The social networking giant announced its most recent financial and user metrics this afternoon, breaking a long-standing tradition of announcing earnings before the market opens.

The day after CEO Jack Dorsey faced a grilling from the U.S. Senate over how social media companies moderate content, Twitter revealed revenues of $936 million — a year-on-year (YoY) increase of 14% from the $824 million reported last year and a quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) increase of 37% over the $686 million for Q2 2020. The company added that its net income for the quarter fell around 22% from last year to just under $29 million.

In the earnings press release, Twitter CFO Ned Segal noted that the revenue hike was largely due to advertisers increasing their spend around live sports and other events after holding back in previous quarters because of the pandemic.

In terms of users, Twitter reported 187 million monetizable daily users (mDAUs) for a 29% YoY increase on the 145 million it reported for Q3 2019. However, that figure was only a fraction higher than the previous quarter’s 186 million. Twitter stopped reporting its overall monthly active users last year, choosing instead to focus on the mDAU metric, which it defines as individuals who log in through Twitter.com or any of the mobile apps that are able to show advertisements. This excludes users who don’t log in or who use TweetDeck or other third-party clients.

As with the previous quarter, Twitter hadn’t provided any revenue guidance ahead of its Q3 2020 financials, due to the impact of COVID-19, but analysts had pegged Twitter’s revenue for the quarter at roughly $775 million, while mDAUs had been estimated to reach more than 196 million.

In short, Twitter smashed it on revenue but disappointed on user growth.

Twitter’s shares are sitting at roughly double their March value, having hit a five-year high of more than $52 this week. However, off the back of lower-than-expected user growth, Twitter’s shares plunged up to 12% in after-hours trading.


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