Twitter races past expectations, stock leaps

SAN FRANCISCO - The little blue bird is flying high. Stronger-than-expected results pushed Twitter's (TWTR) stock sharply higher on Tuesday after the short messaging service said its revenue more than doubled in the second quarter.

The San Francisco-based company's stock jumped 29.6 percent to $50.01 in extended trading after the results came out.

Twitter posted a net loss of $144.6 million, or 24 cents per share, in the April-June period. That compares with a loss of $42.2 million, or 32 cents per share, a year earlier when Twitter was still a private company.

Adjusted earnings were 2 cents per share in the latest quarter, beating analysts' expectations of a loss of 1 cent, according to FactSet.

Revenue was $312.2 million, up from $139.3 million. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting revenue of $283.3 million.

"Our strong financial and operating results for the second quarter show the continued momentum of our business," said CEO Dick Costolo in a statement. "We remain focused on driving increased user growth and engagement, and by developing new product experiences, like the one we built around the World Cup, we believe we can extend Twitter's appeal to an even broader audience."

Investors have been worried about Twitter's ability to expand its user base and appeal to a mass market. However, the service had 271 million average monthly users as of the end of June, up 24 percent from a year earlier and up 6 percent from the end of March. Analysts were expecting 266 million users.

Mobile advertising revenue was $224 million, or 81 percent of the quarter's total ad revenue. In the first quarter, mobile ad revenue amounted to about 80 percent of the total.

Twitter went public last November, setting a price of $26 per share. It then soared amid hungry investor demand. The stock declined sharply after peaking in December at $74.73. On Tuesday, it closed at $38.59 before the after-hours surge.

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