Twitter Beats Estimates

Twitter reported second quarter revenue of $502.4 million, a 61% increase over the same period last year and soundly beating analysts’ estimates.

Analysts had predicted revenue would reach $481.3 million for the period, up 54% from the $312.2 million tallied in the prior year.  The social media giant also reduced its net loss in the period to $136.7 million (21 cents per share) from $144.6 million (24 cents per share) in 2014.

The company projected revenue of between $545 million and $560 million for the third quarter, and increased its estimates for full-year 2015 revenue from between $2.17 billion to $2.27 billion to between $2.2 billion and $2.27 billion.

Usage was also up – Twitter said 316 million users signed into the service at least once per month, a 2.6% increase from the first quarter. 

Twitter shares, up nearly 6% in after-hours trading shortly after announcing results, lost those gains and then some during its conference call with analysts, when chief financial officer Anthony Noto said they shouldn't expect meaningful growth in its audience size for a "considerable" period. The stock was most recently trading at $32.35 each, down $4.19 each, or about 11.5%.

Twitter has struggled to grow its audience -- it is about one-fifth the size of Facebook's 1.5 billion users. The company also is in search of a new CEO since Dick Costolo resigned at the beginning of the month. Co-founder Jack Dorsey has filled in in the interim, but he declined to comment on his interest in the permanent position. Accordng to reports, Dorsey and head of global revenue and partnerships Adam Bain are the top candidates for the job.