With its stock up 30% this year amid growing optimism over platform improvements, Twitter (TWTR) reports first-quarter earnings before the market open Wednesday.


Twitter’s stock growth this year stems mainly from a series of product improvements. Analysts will want to know whether it’s been able to convert recent efforts in video and artificial intelligence into increased user engagement.

They’ll also wonder whether the data privacy scandal that’s impacting Facebook (FB) has hurt Twitter. Facebook will report quarterly earnings after the market close Wednesday.

“Expectations are ramping up as the Twitter platform stabilizes,” Baird analyst Colin Sebastian wrote in a note to clients. “We expect slightly above consensus revenue as Twitter continues to benefit from improvements to the core app and content strategy.”

Double-Digit Gains

Analysts look for revenue of $604 million, up 10% from the year-ago quarter. Adjusted earnings are forecast to be 12 cents per share, up 71%. A key metric will be monthly active users. The Wall Street consensus is for the social media site to report 5 million new monthly active users, for a total of about 335 million.

The company’s stock jumped last week after Morgan Stanley upgraded the social media firm on expected revenue acceleration and continued progress on turnaround efforts. Three months ago, Twitter reported fourth-quarter earnings that easily beat estimates. It delivered its first profit under generally accepted accounting principles — 11 years after its founding. The stock soared 12% in reaction.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney has a sector perform rating on Twitter and price target of 31.

Shares dropped 2.4% to close at 30.47 on the stock market today. Facebook tumbled 3.7% to 159.69.

MKM Partners on Friday upgraded Twitter to a buy, from neutral, with a price target of 40.

According to 4C Insights, a media planning and buying platform, Twitter ad spend on its platform grew 6% in the first quarter, from the year-ago period. It said ad buys on Twitter are also becoming more efficient, adding that Twitter continues to innovate  toward a better user experience.


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