This week was packed with earnings reports from companies in various sectors, but three stocks in tech certainly left their mark. Twitter (NYSE: TWTR), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), and Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) all saw their stocks rise following their latest quarterly updates.
Twitter impressed with its strong revenue and daily active user growth. Microsoft's commercial cloud business continued to grow at an uncanny rate. And Facebook's deceleration wasn't as bad as feared. Here's a closer look.
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Social-network Twitter saw revenue in its first quarter rise 20% year over year, to $787 million, easily beating analysts' average estimate for revenue of $776.1 million. Non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.37 crushed analyst estimates for $0.15.
But the biggest highlight from Twitter's first quarter was its reacceleration in its year-over-year growth rate for its monetizable daily active users. These daily users were up 11% year over year during the quarter, rising to 134 million. This growth rate is up from 9% growth in Q4. Management said the figure benefited from seasonal organic growth, product improvements aimed to improve the relevance of the timeline and user notifications, and marketing.
Microsoft's fiscal third-quarter results were solid. Commercial cloud revenue, which includes revenue from Azure, Dynamics 365, and Office 365 commercial, increased 41%, to $9.6 billion, accounting for 31.4% of total revenue. Total revenue was $30.6 billion, up 14% year over year and meaningfully ahead of analysts' average estimate for revenue of $29.8 billion. Adjusted earnings per share of $1.14 crushed an average estimate for $1.00.
Microsoft's commercial cloud gross margin was notably up an impressive 5 percentage points compared to the year-ago quarter, coming in at 63%. The main driver for this, management said in Microsoft's earnings call, was improvement in the gross margin of its cloud-computing business Azure.
Speaking of Azure, the cloud-computing business saw its revenue soar, rising 73% year over year -- 75% in constant currency.
Social-network juggernaut Facebook reported better-than-expected revenue and non-GAAP earnings per share, tempering any concerns about the sustainability of its business amid scrutiny over its security and privacy practices. Revenue rose 26% year over year, to $15.1 billion, coming in ahead of analyst forecasts for revenue of $15 billion -- though this growth was down from 30% revenue growth in Q4. Adjusted earnings per share of $1.89 similarly beat analysts' consensus estimate of $1.63.
During the social-network's first-quarter earnings call, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg boasted about the company's momentum with its Stories format -- the social-network experience first used by Snap's Snapchat. "We're continuing to see fast adoption of Stories with each of our three Stories experiences -- Facebook and Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp having more than 0.5 billion daily actives," he said.
The social network also saw healthy growth in its daily active users, which rose 8% year over year.
Shares of Twitter, Microsoft, and Facebook rose 12%, 5%, and 7%, respectively, throughout the week.
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