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Twitter Earnings Christened, Shares Sink

Mark Vickery

Social media firm Twitter (TWTR) announced its first public earnings announcement after the bell Wednesday, beating revenue estimates but failing to reach analysts' active monthly user targets. As a result, TWTR shares are down big in the after-market.

So you want to be a stock market star (with apologies to Roger McGuinn)? Ask Facebook (FB) -- it ain't often easy right out of the gate, especially among Internet-based companies whose analysts, while studious and learned, don't have wide-ranging comparisons to make or widgets to count beyond things like user base numbers.

Apparently, 184 million mobile users -- up 37% year over year -- is indeed something to sneeze at; Twitter shares are down 12% in after-hours trading following the company's inaugural announcement. Twitter posted a revenue beat -- $243 million in the quarter as opposed to the $221 expected -- and its recent patent deal with IBM (IBM) should help decrease Twitter's intellectual property vulnerability going forward (Twitter bought 900 patents from IBM recently).

Ahead of the closing bell Twitter stock was up 43% since its IPO, so perhaps the late-market trading is selling the news. The shares rose 8% a couple weeks back when Facebook posted its stellar quarter numbers.

But average revenue per 1000 timeline views -- a key metric for a company like Twitter -- is currently $1.49. This is up 76% since this time last year. It would seem that if you were in TWTR merely short-term, you've got a re-think on your hands. But ask Facebook investors if their patience has managed to pay off.

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