Twitter's stock price has taken a beating over the last year, falling to less than its IPO strike price before rebounding slightly in recent weeks. The company's two biggest struggles have been slowing user growth and a lack of profits. Former CEO Dick Costolo tried in vain to explain to investors that Twitter's reach was actually much larger than its user base would suggest, but eventually was forced to step down. Co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey returned to the role of chief executive, and his tenure was marked by some big changes to the team and product. The result, at least so far, is mixed.
The company reported revenue of $569 million and a net loss of $132 million. It had issued guidance that it would generate $545 to $560 million in revenue and EBITDA of $110 to $115 million. The final EBITDA figure for the quarter was $142 million, so Twitter beat its forecasts for both that and revenue. During the same three-month period last year, Twitter booked $361 million in revenue and a net loss of $175 million.
But while the companies finances are improving, growth remains slow. Twitter added 4 million monthly active users during the third quarter of this year for a total of 320 million MAUs — short of the 324 million it projected. That's already sent the company's stock down after hours. Last quarter, Twitter added a total of 8 million monthly users, but those were all international additions, with its US user base remaining basically flat. That matters for Twitter because it earns far more from ads shown to users in the US than in any other territory. During this same period last year, Twitter's user base was growing at a rate of 23 percent year over year.
Update: the figure for income in the third quarter of 2014 was corrected to note GAAP results instead of non-GAAP.