A tweet hasn’t had this much stock market influence since Carl Icahn’s Apple tweet that launched a thousand (+) buy orders. Not only were Twitter earnings a miss, but Twitter (TWTR) totally botched its earnings announcement. Instead of releasing the earnings after the market close yesterday, the earnings figures were leaked around 3pm EST.
The best part? The earnings were leaked ON TWITTER!
A company called Selerity, which uses automated technology to scour the web for important market events, found and published the link to Twitter’s earnings before the official reveal. There was no Sony-style nefarious hacking though. Selerity legally found the link through Twitter’s own investor relations page.
You might be wondering, what’s the big deal? The leak was only an hour or so before the official announcement.
Ever wondered why companies seem to report their earnings before the market opens or after the market closes? It’s because there’s less trading going on outside of market hours. In theory, that gives investors more time to digest and analyze the earnings reports before making trades, and may avoid as big of jumps in price. In this case, Twitter dropped 18% almost immediately after the leak came out.
Regardless of when the results came out, there would have been a big drop in stock price. Twitter missed big on revenue and monthly average user growth (MAU). Twitter posted first quarter revenues of $436 million, missing analyst estimates of $456.5 million. On top of that, the company only averaged 241.6 mobile monthly active users, under the expected 243 million.
This is even after Twitter’s announcements of its acquisition of streaming video company Periscope, and deal with Google.
There were a few bright spots though. Twitter’s revenue rose 74% from the same quarter last year. And Twitter beat earnings per share (EPS) estimates for the quarter.
Overall the jury’s still out on whether Twitter is a worthwhile investment. If you are holding or considering buying, (and disclaimer: I have a few shares I’m seriously questioning) it could be a long time before you see any gains.