Twitter had a better than expected last quarter of the preceding decade, with the company breaching the $1 billion quarterly revenue mark for the first time. The social networking giant reported total revenues of $1.01 billion, up 11% on a year-over-year basis. Monetisable daily active users were up an impressive 21% year-over-year, reaching 152 million for the fourth quarter.
An obviously elated CEO Jack Dorsey said during the earnings call, “2019 was a great year for Twitter. Our work to increase relevance and ease of use delivered 21% mDAU growth in Q4, with more than half of the 26 million mDAU added in 2019 directly driven by product improvements”.
On an yearly basis, Twitter recorded total revenues of $3.46 billion for 2019, a 14% increase (15% on constant currency basis) when compared with 2018 numbers. 2019 net income was $1.47 billion, representing a net margin of 42% and diluted EPS of $1.87. This compares to 2018 net income of $1.21 billion, representing a net margin of 40% and diluted EPS of $1.56. The company posted net income of $1.47 billion for 2019, its second straight year of profitability after nearly 12 years of losses.
Q4 revenue totaled $1.01 billion, an increase of 11% year-over-year. A major chunk, as expected, came from advertising revenues, which totaled $885 million, an increase of 12% year-over-year. Equally impressive are ad engagement numbers, which saw a 29% year-over-year increase. The company was able to significantly reduce cost per engagement (CPE), which was down by 13% year-over-year. Data licensing and other revenue totaled $123 million, an increase of 5% year-over-year.
In terms of geography, there is a break-up between the US and rest of the world. As one would expect, US revenue totaled $591 million, more than half of the overall revenues and an increase of 17% year-over-year. International revenue totaled $416 million, an increase of 3% year-over-year.
However, the company saw a significant increase in expenses as well with 2019 costs and expenses totaling $3.09 billion, an increase of 19% year-over-year. This resulted in
operating income of $366 million and 11% operating margin. Nevertheless, the stree remained jubilant of the company’s performance. The stock rose as much as 17% (at the time of writing), the most intraday since April 23. That brings gains in the last 12 months to 11%.
What must be noted though, is how different this last quarter turned out to be for Twitter. Third quarter was a stark contrast, with the company missing revenue estimates by a huge margin and the stock seeing a 20% dip as aftermath. Twitter had then revised its fourth quarter outlook. These Q4’19 numbers are on the higher side of that revised outlook, though still lower than what analysts had initially projected.
Dorsey however, wants Twitter’s dev team to work faster as he acknowledged the long time it takes for the company to bring a product from testing to consumer use. “The time it takes to go from an idea to shipping something wonderful to customers still takes too long,” he said.
In terms of future outlook, Twitter beat estimates and said it plans to post $825 million to $885 million in revenue in the first quarter. Analysts on average are predicting sales of $868.9 million. Riding high on the current numbers, the company is also planning to increase spending by 20%, increase headcount by 20% as well as open up a new datacenter.
Updated with Twitter Share price screenshot