By JOHN KAPETANEAS
Morning Money Memo…
Twitter shareholders are exiting the stock this morning after the company reported slowing growth and declining user engagement. This comes despite posting better than expected fourth-quarter revenue of $243 million. The shares have plunged nearly 21 percent in after-hours trading. The stock had nearly tripled at one point from its IPO price of $26, peaking at $74.73 in December. Expect the shares to open in the low 50s today.
Investors are worried because Twitter added just 9 million monthly active users last quarter, the least in three years. Twitter’s growth has been slowing and one key measure of that known as :”timeline views” fell for the first time in the quarter, from 159 billion to 148 billion. Twitter users, it seems, aren’t quite as enthralled with the short message service as they used to be.
Stock futures are positive this morning, as investors key in on tomorrow’s US labor market report. This follows a relatively neutral day on Wall Street, with major indices falling slightly, but far less than the nearly 2 percent losses in US markets in the past five days. Meanwhile, European and Asian markets have been largely positive Thursday, after the ECB’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged at 0.25 percent, and both regions eye US job growth. Gold rose $4.70 to $1,261 and crude oil advanced $1.02 to $98.41.
General Motors fell short of estimates, despite posting a 2 percent rise in profit from a year ago. The company reported earnings of $0.67 per share, and revenue of $40.5 billion. Analysts had estimated GM at $0.89 per share on revenue of $40.8 billion.
Tech giant Sony will shed 5,000 jobs worldwide, after announcing today that they expect to lose $1.1 billion in the year through March. The company previously forecast a profit of around $300 million. Many of the Japanese electronic makers’ key businesses, including TV and PC, have been struggling in recent years and it plans to sell its PC business.
Coca-Cola will buy a 10 percent share of Green Mountain, the company reported yesterday. Coke will reportedly pay $1.25 billion for 16.7 million shares of the coffee maker. There are plans for Coke to dispense its products in the k-cup type tabletop dispensers.
Companies reporting earnings today include: Aetna, AOL, AstraZeneca, Credit Suisse, Daimler, Dunkin’ Brands, Kellogg Co., LinkedIn, New York Times Co., Philip Morris.