Twitter reports slowest quarterly revenue growth since IPO

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Twitter Inc reported its slowest growth in quarterly revenue since going public in 2013 and frustrated investors yet again with a disappointing outlook for the current quarter.

The microblogging service operator’s shares fell 10 percent in extended trading with investors concerned about its expansion and role in the social media landscape as it faces intense competition from fast-growing competitors like Snapchat and Instagram.

The company’s second quarter revenue missed Wall Street estimates and the revenue forecast for the current quarter of $590 million to $610 million was well below the average analyst estimate of $678.18 million.

Twitter’s user base, however, modestly increased to 313 million average monthly active users in the second quarter from 310 million in the first quarter.

“Clearly, the turnaround is still a work in progress and the question of whether being a platform for a mass audience versus a niche audience needs to be answered,” said James Cakmak, analyst at Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co.

The company, which has been struggling with flat user growth and lower spending by advertisers, is doubling down on efforts to attract users.

Under co-founder and Chief Executive Jack Dorsey, it is also working to better define its role in social media. This week it rolled out a video ad that showed it as the place to go for live news, updates and discussion about current events.

“We are a year into Dorsey coming back and there is really no end in sight of when it is going to start picking up to where investors are going to be happy,” said Patrick Moorhead, analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.

“We’ve made a lot of progress on our priorities this quarter,” Dorsey said in a statement. “We remain focused on improving our service to make it fast, simple and easy to use.”

The company has also pushed further into live video and streaming and has signed deals with Major League Baseball and the NBA to revive user growth.

“The good news is these content deals could potentially make them a more attractive acquisition target for a media company looking to expand digital distribution,” Cakmak said.

Excluding items, the company earned 13 cents per share, topping the average analyst estimate of 10 cents.

The company’s net loss narrowed to $107.2 million, or 15 cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, from $136.7 million, or 21 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose about 20 percent to $602 million, missing the estimate of $606.8 million.