There's good news and bad news coming out of Twitter's first earnings report as a public company today. The good news is that Twitter posted $243 million in revenue for Q4 2013, which is up 116% from the same quarter in 2012. This meant that the company exceeded the expectations of analysts, who estimated a revenue total closer to $218 million for the period.
The bad news is that Twitter posted a massive net loss of $511 million for Q4, which is significantly higher than losses of $8.71 million in Q4 2012. Losses were attributed to "$521 million of stock-based compensation expense, of which $406 million was for restricted stock units previously granted to employees".
For the entire 2013 calendar year, Twitter lost $645 million but doubled their revenues to $664 million on the back of an overall increase in users; in Q4 alone, monthly active users jumped 30% year-on-year to 241 million.
Despite CEO Dick Costolo saying that "Twitter finished a great year with our strongest financial quarter to date", investors reacted poorly to the news of significant losses. Twitter's stock price has plummeted more than 17% in after hours trading, down to around $54 at the time of writing.
Twitter went public in late 2013 at an IPO share price of $26, although this quickly jumped to $45 when the New York Stock Exchange opened. While the IPO was generally viewed as being successful, questions have arisen as to whether Twitter will be able to maintain its growth rate, or actually turn a profit.
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