Twitter earnings impress, users up by 4 million

Twitter revealed it has been miscalculating its monthly active users (MAUs) all the way back to the fourth quarter of 2014.

The issue may add to credibility problems for Twitter, which has been under pressure to weed out fake accounts and bots.

By the end of the third quarter on September 30, Twitter said it had about 330 million users.

Over the past two years, Twitter has added an average of just under three million new users per quarter, which means Twitter is losing nearly as many old users as it's gaining new users.

Twitter shares rallied 8.2 percent in pre-market trading following the release of the results.

Net loss for its third quarter 2017 narrowed to $21.10 million or $0.03 per share from $102.87 million or $0.15 per share in the same quarter previous year. The bottom line benefited from a 16% cut in GAAP expenses. And Twitter said daily active users - a metric for which it has declined to offer details - rose 14 percent from a year ago. Quarterly non-GAAP net income was $77.85 million, or $0.10 per share, compared to $61.39 million, or $0.09 per share in the prior year.

"This quarter we made progress in three key areas of our business: we grew our audience and engagement, made progress on a return to revenue growth, and achieved record profitability", said Twitter's CEO Jack Dorsey said in a statement.

The company said it lost $21.1 million, or 3 cents a share, in the third quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Revenue for the quarter declined about 4% to $589.63 million from $615.93 million a year ago.

Twitter slightly beat Wall Street's expectations for its third-quarter earnings with $590 million in revenue vs. $587 million expected.

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