Update (0945ET): After rallying last night following expectations-meeting earnings (though Q4 outlook trailed Wall Street expectations and U.S. users were flat quarter-on-quarter, potentially raising concerns about U.S. market saturation), TWTR shares are suddenly in freefall this morning following two analyst price-target cuts.
KeyBanc analyst Justin Patterson lowered the firm's price target on Twitter to $70 from $81 and keeps an Overweight rating on the shares.
The analyst also acknowledges he has more caution around the 2023 targets. Patterson believes bulls will point to better than feared revenue guidance and potential to gain direct response budget share. While he agrees with that view, the analyst also acknowledges mDAU growth remains subdued and reaching 315M by Q4 2023 appears less likely. Shares still offer modest upside at these levels, but Patterson "increasingly" needs to see more progress with users and direct response to have confidence in 20%-plus annual revenue growth.
Wedbush analyst Ygal Arounian lowered the firm's price target on Twitter (TWTR) to $69 from $76 and keeps a Neutral rating on the shares.
The analyst notes Twitter reported "solid" earnings, with Q3 results and Q4 guidance essentially in line with consensus. Results were particularly strong in the U.S., with international still impacted by COVID related closures in some markets, Arounian adds. The analyst also points out that Twitter is also seeing a more muted impact from Apple's (AAPL) ATT than social media peers, largely due to its more limited exposure to DR advertising. Arounian sees Twitter as taking the right steps across user and ad products. But the analyst looks to see more proof points that users can march up toward the target, that ad products are gaining traction and are able to create a more favorable DR toolset in particular.
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As we detailed last night, despite some initial volatility, TWTR shares are basically unchanged after-hours following results that broadly met expectations:
Revenue: $1.284 billion vs. $1.285 billion as expected.
Monetizable daily active users (mDAUs): up 5 million to 211 million vs. 211.9 million as expected
Because of the legal settlement (a one-time litigation-related net charge of $766 million related to an $809.5 million settlement the company announced in September for allegedly misleading investors about user growth), Twitter reported a net loss of $537 million, compared to a profit of $29 million a year ago.
Twitter’s ad revenue rose more than 41% to $1.14 billion, with total ad engagements increasing 6% from a year earlier.
“I am proud of our third quarter results,” Twitter chief Jack Dorsey said in a statement.
“We’re improving personalization, facilitating conversation, delivering relevant news, and finding new ways to help people get paid on Twitter.”
TWTR dropped, then popped, then dropped back to unchanged, before a modest rally lifted it 1%...
Twitter said “ad engagements,” or the number of user interactions with paid messages, increased 6% from a year earlier.
The company said it’s expecting revenue, including the MoPub business, of $1.5 billion to $1.6 billion in the fourth quarter. Analysts were projecting sales of $1.58 billion on average, according to Refinitiv.
Additionally, the company says they expect similar user growth in the fourth quarter.
Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal said the company is watching global supply chain issues “closely,” but suggested they may be “less of an issue” for Twitter given how advertisers use the platform.
“Well more than half of ad revenue on Twitter is for services and digital goods,” he said.
“Some of the largest advertisers in the world who sell products and services, often the campaigns you see on Twitter from these advertisers are for their services.”
Finally, Twitter said Apple’s privacy tracking changes, which require users to opt in to data sharing, will have an ongoing “modest” impact on sales. Rivals Facebook Inc. and Snap Inc. earlier reported that Apple’s software changes dented their business because they made it harder to measure an ad’s effectiveness.
“It is still too early for Twitter to assess the long-term impact of Apple’s privacy-related iOS changes, but the Q3 revenue impact was lower than expected,” the San Francisco-based company wrote Tuesday in a letter to shareholders.