Twitter Earnings: First-Quarter Results Highlight Strong Execution

Twitter's (NYSE: TWTR) streak of double-digit revenue growth continued in its first quarter, the company revealed in its quarterly update Tuesday morning. The strong quarter was driven by strength in the U.S., and robust performance from the social network's video ad products.

Here's a closer look at the quarter's key figures.

A woman holds a coffee cup in one hand and a smartphone in the other.

Image source: Getty Images.

Twitter's first-quarter results: The raw numbers

Metric Q1 2019 Q1 2018 Year-Over-Year Change
Revenue $787 million $665 million 18%
Non-GAAP EPS $0.37 $0.16 131%
Monetizable daily active users 134 million 120 million 11%

Data source: Twitter's first-quarter shareholder letter. GAAP = generally accepted accounting principles; EPS = earnings per share.

What happened with Twitter this quarter?

Twitter saw impressive growth in its first quarter, with revenue rising 18% year over year (20% in constant currency) to $787 million. This easily beat management's guidance for first-quarter revenue to be between $715 million and $775 million. Adjusted earnings per share soared 131% year over year to $0.37.

GAAP net income also rose sharply during the period, increasing from $61 million in the year-ago quarter to $191 million. Excluding the impact of a net tax benefit during the quarter, net income was $66 million.

While the bulk of Twitter's revenue continues to come from advertising, data licensing revenue notably increased 20% year over year to $107 million during the period.

Twitter's monetizable daily active users rose 11% year over year -- an impressive rate, and an acceleration from 9% year-over-year growth in Q4.

What management had to say

Management credited the U.S. market for much of its momentum. Domestic revenue during the period was $432 million, up 25% year over year. International revenue was $355 million, up 11% over the same time frame. Management also noted that its video ad formats continue to drive outsize growth compared to other ad formats.

The company said it continues to prioritize health on its platform. "We are taking an even more proactive approach to reducing abuse on Twitter and its effects in 2019," said Twitter in its first-quarter shareholder letter.

Management continued:

Improvements in Q1 emphasized proactive detection of rule violations and physical, or off-platform, safety -- including making it easier to report Tweets that share personal information, helping us remove 2.5 times more of this content since launch.

Looking ahead

In Twitter's second quarter, management wrote that health remains a top priority, "from a mindset and resourcing perspective, as we continue our work to help people find credible information and feel safe participating in the conversation on Twitter."

For its second quarter, management guided for revenue between $770 million and $830 million. The midpoint of this guidance range would represent 13% year-over-year growth in revenue. While this would mark a deceleration compared to Twitter's 18% revenue growth in Q1, management's guidance has typically proved conservative.

Twitter says it expects its second-quarter operating income to be between $35 million and $70 million. This compares to operating income of $80 million in the second quarter of 2018.

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Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Twitter. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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