When Twitter posted its first quarterly profit a few months ago, many wondered if the result was a one-off or a repeatable feat.
The social media company answered on Wednesday with its latest quarterly earnings that showed it was still on an upswing.
For the first quarter, Twitter reported a profit of $61 million and said revenue rose 21 percent to $665 million. User numbers rose slightly to 336 million per month.
The results surpassed the expectations of financial analysts, and show that even as regulators worldwide turn a more skeptical eye toward social media companies like Twitter and Facebook over privacy concerns and for not doing enough to prevent the spread of misinformation and hate speech, their core advertising-driven businesses are in good shape.
Twitter’s stock has more than doubled in value in the past 12 months as the company has undergone a perception shift on Wall Street. While Twitter once struggled to keep up with lofty expectations for user growth, investors now no longer expect the company to be a growth rocket and instead see it as one that may cut its spending to become more profitable.
“They’re not going to become the bright shiny object that they were,” said Brian Wieser, a senior analyst at Pivotal Research who specializes in the technology sector. “But they’re good enough.”
Youssef Squali, a managing director and senior analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, said of Twitter, “2018 is going to be the year they put their house in order, improve their performance for advertisers and see their revenues grow.”
The service provided by Twitter is mostly unchanged from last quarter; analysts said the company had just become more efficient at filling the niche it had found.
In the social media industry, where user numbers spike in a moment and collapse just as quickly, and where Twitter has to compete against the behemoths of Facebook and Google, stability is almost the strangest thing to see.
“They’re kind of at the point of normalcy,” Mr. Wieser said.