Twitter shares crashed 18 percent in their final hour of trading on Tuesday after the company’s first-quarter earnings—a broad-based miss—leaked early. Financial-intelligence firm Selerity is being credited as first to take note of the earnings leak, which it broadcast to the rest of the world, ironically, on Twitter:
Trading was briefly suspended around 3:30 p.m. and once it reopened Twitter’s stock promptly nosedived. The company went ahead and posted Q1 results on its website, and Selerity followed up to state that the early earnings information had been sourced directly from the investor-relations portion of Twitter’s website. “No leak. No hack,” Selerity tweeted.
So on to the results! Twitter’s revenue rose 74 percent over the previous year, to $450 million, and the company reported a net loss of $162 million. Average monthly active users, a metric that analysts watch closely, were in line with expectations at 18 percent growth to 302 million, but the numbers for mobile monthly active users missed estimates. (Twitter, for what it’s worth, would contest that monthly active users are in fact a poor measure of its reach; its recently redesigned homepage intends to draw in Internet wanderers who are interested in the site’s content but might not have an account.)
Twitter’s earnings release also included two announcements about new ad-related ventures. The company acquired TellApart, a firm that specializes in personalized marketing, and has partnered with Google’s DoubleClick to help direct-response marketers. Twitter attributed its disappointing first-quarter revenue figures to “a lower-than-expected contribution” from direct-response products. Twitter is likely hoping that TellApart and DoubleClick will help change that.
After hours, Twitter’s stock is actually up about 2 percent, presumably as investors have absorbed all of the earnings information and moderated their initial reaction. Still, not a great day for the company, whose shares closed at $42.27 after opening at $51.66. Execs are expected to break down the quarter on the company’s earnings call at 5 p.m. Maybe they’ll address what happened with the earnings leak, too.