Earnings

Twitter is expected to report its fourth quarter 2018 earnings before the bell on Thursday.

Here are the numbers analysts are expecting:

  • Earnings per share: 25 cents expected, per Refinitiv consensus estimate
  • Revenue: $868.1 million expected, per Refinitiv consensus estimate
  • Monthly active users (MAUs), excluding SMS users: 321.1 million expected, according to FactSet consensus

Investors will likely be looking for progress in Twitter’s monthly active users (MAUs) growth. Twitter has fallen short of MAU estimates for the past two quarters. The company blamed a July purge of “locked” accounts aimed at getting rid of bots and fake users as well as “a number of factors including: GDPR, decisions we have made to prioritize the health of the platform and not move to paid SMS carrier relationships in certain markets, as well as a product change that reduced automated usage and a technical issue that temporarily reduced the number of notifications sent.”

Still, Twitter has posted eight-straight quarters of growth in daily active users (DAUs), reporting a 9 percent increase in Q3 2018. Chief Financial Officer Ned Segel told CNBC last quarter he sees room for further growth in that metric since less than half of MAUs access the site daily.

“There’s lots of opportunity to convert them into daily users as we continue to improve all kinds of things around the service, from the notifications you get around Twitter to continuing to improve the timeline,” Segel said. “Our onboarding process can get much better as well. We just need to make it easier for people to find the things that people are looking for on Twitter.”

CEO Jack Dorsey has hinted at new features that would aim to prioritize users’ well-being over engagement with the platform. In an interview with Rolling Stone published last month, Dorsey said his team has been “thinking about what happens if we remove the ‘like’ counts” from tweets.

“Ultimately, I want every single person that uses Twitter to not spend hours, or days, or minutes consuming content, but [instead] to be notified when there’s something that potentially they could learn from, and, to the highest degree, that they’d want to participate in a conversation around it,” Dorsey told Rolling Stone.

Twitter, along with social media peers including Facebook, has faced headwinds in the past year over its role in spreading misinformation and contributing to “filter bubbles.” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee in September alongside Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in January over foreign meddling during the 2016 U.S. election.

Twitter has since taken steps to reduce the spread of misinformation of its platform, including the bot purge and the removal of thousands of accounts it believed originated in Iran, Russia and Venezuela for the purpose of spreading misinformation around the 2018 U.S. midterm election.

-Former CNBC reporter Michelle Castillo contributed to this report.

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