There was some good news and a lot of bad news in the just released Twitter results.
First the good news: the company reported Q2 Revenue and EPS of $573.9MM and $0.08, beating already depressed expectations of $537.2MM and $0.05.
That was about it for the good news. Now the bad: first, the company missed on total Monthly Active Users, which in Q2 were unchanged sequentially at 328MM, below the 332 expected. Worse, while US-based users rose by 4% Y/Y, they actually declined sequentially from 70 million to 68 million, confirming that the company's growth in the most profitable market is not only over, it has now reversed.
Commenting on the drop, Bloomberg's Jing Cao said that "it’s possible that political fatigue negatively impacted user numbers. Twitter doesn’t mention politics in the shareholder letter but does attribute MAU growth to product improvements, offset by "lower seasonal benefits and other factors."
Whatever the reason, the impact on the top line was profound as total revenue decline 5% from a year ago to $574 million, as growth in ad and licensing sales was not nearly enough to offset the drop in advertising revenue.
Worse, ad revenue in the US at $269 million dropped 14% Y/Y, and was the lowest in over. Elsewhere it wasn't better with global ad revenue sliding 8% and even international declined by 1%.
There was a glimmer of hope in the company's EBITDA line which rose 2% Y/Y to $178 million, above the $124.5 million expected, although the company warned it would drop substantially in Q3 to a range of $130-$150 million.
Finally, the market reaction was brutal: having pushed the stock higher for the past 3 weeks - for reasons unknown - TWTR tumbled on the report, sliding as much as 7% which, if the company's "growth" trend persists, will only accelerate in the coming months.