Twitter Inc. posted quarterly revenue that came up short of expectations on Wall Street, after the social media company had restructured its sales force for advertising and cut staff. Shares of Twitter plunged on the news.
Revenue for the fourth quarter at Twitter was just over $717 million, which came up short of the expected $740 million on Wall Street. Growth in sales was 1%, which was a dramatic slowdown in the period compared to a gain of 48% for the same quarter one year ago.
Twitter added another 2 million users, which brought its total number of users who log in each month to over 319 million. That number was in line with projections made by analysts.
Twitter continued to have trouble convincing advertisers to spend more on its platform as less people join it.
Pressure has mounted on the social media company of late when its search recently for a possible buyer came up empty handed forcing CEO Jack Dorsey to put more focus moving it to profitability on its own.
Twitter slashed its workforce by 9%, sold a Fabric developing company to Google and shuttered its short video app Vine.
It has lost its COO and CTO, which increased the overall work load for Dorsey, who must divide his time between Twitter and Square, Inc., where he is also CEO.
One Wall Street analyst wrote that it was remarkable that Twitter has tolerated a shared CEO given the difficult situation they find themselves in.
Twitter was down by up to 10.2% prior to the opening bell on Thursday morning.
Twitter’s profit eliminating certain items ended the quarter at $119 million equal to 16 cents per share. Analysts were expecting a profit of 12 cents per share.
Its net loss widened to just over $167 million equal to 23 cents per share. Twitter said its goal was to reach profitability during 2017.
The company has relied on partnerships that focus on live video, along with video advertising, to help jump start new users and growth revenue.
Twitter is aiming to appeal to a much wider audience through video, including people who might have decided basic service for the micro-blogging platform was no longer appealing.
At the same time, to retain users that it already has, Twitter has pushed to address harassment and abuse on the service, which caused some high profile departures to its social network in 2016.