Twitter shares crushed after disappointing quarterly update

Washington (AFP) –


Twitter shares took a pounding Thursday after the short messaging service reported weaker-than-expected earnings and disappointing user growth.

Profit in the first quarter was $68 million, which contrasted with a loss of $8 million in the same period a year ago.

Revenues grew 28 percent from a year ago to $1.04 billion but the key figure of "average monetizable daily active users" was below expectations at 199 million, an increase of 20 percent from a year ago.

Twitter shares sank as much as 10 percent in after-hours trade as the results fueled concerns that the platform is not growing fast enough in the rapidly shifting social media space.

The company called the results "a solid start" to the year showing growth in ad revenues.

The shares were also hurt by weaker guidance for the coming quarter for Twitter, which has struggled to expand beyond its core audience of celebrities, journalists and political leaders, even if it has become an important forum for policy debates.

"People turn to Twitter to see and talk about what's happening, and we are helping them find their interests more quickly while making it easier to follow and participate in conversations," said chief executive Jack Dorsey.

Dorsey said the growth was "driven by ongoing product improvements and global conversation around current events."