- Though Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) beat Q4 EPS estimates and posted in-line revenue, the company is guiding for Q1 revenue of $595M-$610M, below a $629.3M consensus.
- No full-year revenue guidance has been given. 2016 adjusted EBITDA margin is expected to be in a 25%-27% range vs. a reported 27% for 2015. Capex is expected to total $300M-$425M.
- Also: Q4 monthly active users (MAUs) totaled 320M, flat Q/Q, up 9% Y/Y, and below expectations. Excluding SMS Fast Follower users, MAUs fell by 2M Q/Q (while rising 6% Y/Y) to 305M.
- Twitter will stop including SMS Fast Follower users in its total MAU count in Q1. MAUs excluding SMS Fast Followers are said to have returned to Q3 levels this quarter; Twitter claims "positive impacts from our marketing initiatives" are boosting MAUs.
- Q4 top-line performance: Ad revenue rose 48% Y/Y to $710M, after having grown 60% in Q3. Data licensing/other revenue rose 48% to $70M, after growing 44% in Q3. U.S. revenue +47% to $463M; international revenue +51% to $247M. Mobile was 86% of ad revenue, the same as Q3. Forex had a 500 bps impact on ad revenue growth.
- Financials: Non-GAAP costs/expenses rose 52% Y/Y to $591M (surpassing revenue growth of 48%). On a GAAP basis, costs of revenue totaled $218M, R&D spend $210.1M, sales/marketing $277.2M, and G&A $72.4M. Twitter ended Q4 with $3.5B in cash and $1.5B in convertible debt.
- Metrics: Twitter asserts its total audience, which includes logged-out visitors, was above 800M in Q4. Direct messages (boosted by a character limit increase) rose 61% Y/Y, and (thanks to native autoplay video integration) video views rose 220x Y/Y. Active advertisers rose nearly 90% to 130K (still well below Facebook's 2M+). Mobile MAUs were 80% of total MAUs, even with Q3.
- Twitter's Q4 results, shareholder letter (.pdf)
- Update (4:45PM ET): The post has been updated to include additional details about Twitter's Q4. Shares are now down 4.1% after hours to $14.36.
- Update 2 (4:59PM ET): Mentioned in Twitter's shareholder letter: "We are going to fix the broken windows and confusing parts, like the .@name syntax and @reply rules, that we know inhibit usage and drive people away. We're going to improve the timeline to make sure you see the best Tweets, while preserving the timeliness we are known for ... We're going to improve onboarding flows to make sure you easily find both your contacts and your interests. We're going to make Tweeting faster while making Tweets more expressive with both text and visual media."
- Update 3 (5:34PM ET): Twitter is now down 1.1% after hours.
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