Twitter on Thursday reported a growth in ad sales and its first profitable quarter, but the tech firm didn't add any new monthly active users in the last three months of 2017.
"We're proud of the steady progress we made in 2017 and we're confident in our path ahead. We have significant opportunity ahead of us to put Twitter in as many people's hands as possible and make the service more relevant to more people every single day," said Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey in a conference call.
Twitter's stock at one point rose more than 23 percent in pre-market trading to $33.28 per share after the company released its financial results.
The San Francisco company, which has struggled to compete for ad dollars, has also faced a string of executive departures. Twitter COO Anthony Noto recently left to become the chief executive of SoFi.
Some analysts and investors raised concerns that Noto's departure could hinder the company's turnaround efforts.
"Industry trends remain generally positive, with the shift toward video likely benefiting Twitter to some extent, but the company's continued struggles surrounding executive retention may hinder the pace of progress in the near future," wrote Colin Sebastian, an analyst at Baird Equity Research, in a note before Twitter released its fourth-quarter earnings.
Dorsey, who started off the conference call by thanking Noto for his contributions, said that executives from his team will be taking on the roles of the departing COO.
"We haven't skipped a beat and we're really excited about looking at this (organization) in a new way but we have a lot of strength around the table and a lot of confidence to continue the strategy," Dorsey said.
Twitter, like Facebook, has also been under pressure to do more to combat misinformation, fake accounts, hate speech and harassment.
The company has also been making changes as part of an effort to make the site easier to use and toughen its rules around online abuse. It doubled the number of characters allowed in a tweet to 280.
But Twitter's monthly active users remained at 330 million in the fourth quarter, which was the same compared to the third quarter but a 4 percent uptick compared to the same period last year. The tech firm said it was cracking down on fake accounts and spam, which contributed to its lack of user growth.
From October to December, Twitter increased its revenue by 2 percent to $732 million, beating the $686.4 million that analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expected. Sales in the United States dropped by about 8 percent in the fourth quarter, but the company grew its revenue internationally including in Japan.
The company, which has been cutting expenses, turned a profit of $91 million, or 12 cents per share, for the first time.
Excluding certain one-time expenses, Twitter earned 19 cents per share in the fourth quarter, above expectations of 14 cents per share.
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Image credit: Courtesy of Twitter via flickr. Copyright Aaron Durand for Twitter, Inc.