TRUMP MAKES TWITTER PROFITABLE. In the final three months of the year, it eked out a profit of $91.1 million, compared with a loss of $167.1 million a year earlier. By Todd Horwitz, Bubba Trading

 

TRUMP MAKES TWITTER PROFITABLE

Twitter Finally Profitable

Twitter Inc. reported its first profitable quarter as a publicly traded company, cutting into expenses while breaking a revenue decline, though challenges remain as the company plans to ramp up spending in 2018. Twitter, which went public in November 2013, had set a goal of “driving toward” profitability in 2017. In the final three months of the year, it eked out a profit of $91.1 million, compared with a loss of $167.1 million a year earlier.

The company attributed its improved finances to a focus on its strongest selling point: connecting advertisers and the people they want to sell things to in real-time. “Twitter continues to help our partners be relevant in the moment at scale,” chief executive Jack Dorsey said in the quarter’s shareholders letter. Stronger ad sales in the crucial holiday quarter made up the difference for Twitter.

The improved performance comes even though Twitter missed predictions about the number of people using the site by about 2 million. According to Twitter, 330 million people used the network in its latest quarter; about a 4 percent increase from the same time last year. U.S. users fell slightly, to 68 million from 69 million.

Yet even within those relatively flat user numbers, there was a bright spot: The number of people who use Twitter daily increased by about 12 percent from the same time last year. That may have been spurred on by the company’s decision to double its character count in November. Dorsey said that the increased limit has encouraged people to write more often on Twitter, though not necessarily with significantly longer messages.

Some tweaks to the platform appear to have improved people’s engagement. During the quarter, Twitter doubled the character limit for tweets to 280 from 140, a change Mr. Dorsey said didn’t increase the average length of a tweet but resulted in fewer people abandoning messages. “That little bit of extra room has really proven to help,” he said. Twitter also rolled out a way to thread messages together and a feature that shows users events happening around them. Many changes were incremental but reflected a cultural shift—previously it took months or even quarters for the product team to roll out even the smallest changes. Twitter plans to invest in even more changes in the coming year, Mr. Dorsey said.

Keep those stops tight
Todd “Bubba” Horwitz

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Todd Horwitz - Author of “Average Joe Options“. Todd began his trading career in 1980 at the CBOE. He was one of the original traders in the OEX & helped start the SPX. He is a member the CME where he trades S&P futures as well as foreign currencies & is a regular contributor to CNBC, Bloomberg, BNN, Fox & many other major news networks.