Twitter loses millions of users, but still makes record quarterly revenue

Twitter shares fall amid concern over falling user numbers

Twitter shares fall amid concern over falling user numbers

Monthly users also fell 5 million from the firm's fiscal third quarter.

Twitter revealed its number of daily users for the first time on Thursday, disclosing that there are 126 million people on the service. Twitter's monthly user base has dropped down the levels it hasn't seen since the end of 2016.

"2018 is proof that our long-term strategy is working", said chief executive Jack Dorsey.

The reasoning is that a less-toxic Twitter should benefit its standing with ad buyers in the long term.

"Yes, total user numbers are down, but we've known for a while now that Twitter has a fake-users problem and is trying to deal with it, so that shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone", said Clement Thibault, analyst at global financial platform Investing.com.

Shares were down more than 10 percent at $30.56 in midday trading. In its guidance, the company offered a revenue range of $715 million to $775 million against analyst consensus of $764.9 million, according to Refinitiv data published by CNBC.

Those costs could weigh on margins and future earnings, other analysts say.

Operating expenses were expected to surge about 20 percent year-on-year in 2019 due to efforts to improve its service, exceeding analysts' average estimate of 12 percent.

The company also posted another profitable quarter, its fifth consecutive period of profitability.Twitter brought in $909 million in revenue for the fourth quarter, up 24 percent from a year earlier, with a profit of $255 million, well more than double what it made during the same period in 2017.

Twitter reported a total of 321 million monthly users at the end of previous year, which means that the microblogging service lost a whopping 5 million users in the last quarter.

Starting in the current quarter, Twitter said it would stop disclosing the number of monthly active users, a statistic internet companies have routinely reported over the past decade.

Twitter has made its first annual profit in its 13-year history but another fall in the number of its users and a disappointing sales forecast took the gloss off the results and sent its shares down almost 10 per cent. Revealing daily users makes it easier to compare Twitter with its social media rival Facebook, which has 1.52 billion, and Snapchat, which has 186 million. The company said it expected total revenue of between $715m and $775m, the midpoint of which was below the Wall Street consensus of $762m.

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