The social networking company’s shares soared on Tuesday after Twitter said its campaign to clean up fake and abusive accounts has been attracting users and boosting advertising dollars.
The Jack Dorsey-led service reported an increase of 9 million monthly active users — to 330 million — when analysts had predicted it would lose 2.2 million. The jump, combined with revenue growth of 18 percent, sent the stock soaring as much as 18 percent.
Twitter, under pressure from lawmakers over privacy concerns and outside political influences on its service, has removed thousands of fake accounts that it had previously blamed for the dip in monthly users.
And Wall Street had been predicting that the effort, which kicked off last summer, would lead to short-term growing pains, including a decline in monthly active users in the first quarter of 2019.
“Expectations coming in were glass-half-empty,” Wedbush Securities’ analyst Dan Ives told The Post. “Ultimately, the company delivered a blowout quarter.”
The stock surged Tuesday despite a public flogging from President Trump — who took to his favorite messaging tool to accuse the tech giant of failing to give him and other Republicans a fair shake.
Trump quoted a guest on Maria Bartimomo’s Fox Business Network show saying the “best thing ever to happen to Twitter is Donald Trump,” before launching his attack.
“So true, but they don’t treat me well as a Republican. Very discriminatory, hard for people to sign on. Constantly taking people off list. Big complaints from many people,” the president tweeted to his nearly 60 million followers in one of two posts.
Trump said his following “should be much higher than that if Twitter wasn’t playing their political games,” and called for Congress to “get involved.”
It was the company’s last quarter of disclosing its monthly active user count. Twitter has said it will focus instead on its “monetizable” daily active users — created to measure people exposed to advertising on a daily basis.
“It speaks strategically to where the company is going,” Ives told The Post of the planned change in metrics. “I think it’s very similar to what Cook and Apple did in terms of some of the metrics changes,” Ives said, referring to Apple’s recent decision to no longer disclose iPhone sales numbers.
“And even if the near term is causing some noise, it was a move that the street will reward and I think you’ll see that in the shares.”
Twitter’s revenue for the quarter rose 18 percent from a year ago to $787 million, topping Wall Street expectations of $776.1 million. It posted a profit of $191 million, or 25 cents a share, up from 8 cents per share a year earlier.
The company forecast revenue for the next quarter largely below analyst estimates, and said that it would need to continue to spend heavily on cleaning up Twitter as well as new ad products.
Shares closed up 15.7 percent to $39.77.
*With reporting by Mark Moore