Twitter lifts lid on its finances at it aims for $1bn float
While the company continues to make a loss, its revenues almost tripled last year
Nikhil Kumar is The Independent's New York correspondent. He was formerly assistant editor on the foreign desk and has also done a variety of jobs on the city desk, where he wrote about markets, commodities and other business and economics topics.
Friday 04 October 2013
Twitter gave potential investors a fuller picture of its business last night, lifting the lid on its finances as it filed detailed paperwork for a $1bn debut on the public markets.
The company first announced its intention to go public last month using a tweet sent out from its official account to confirm plans for what is one of the most hotly anticipated listings of recent times. Launched in 2006, the micro-blogging service attracts over 200 millions users every month, with large corporations, celebrities, governments and private individuals around the world using the platform to publish 140-character messages in real-time.
Late last night, it followed up the September tweet with details of its financials in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the US market regulator.
According to the documents, while Twitter continues to make a loss, its revenues almost tripled last year, spiralling to $316.9m as it attracted advertising. In the first six months of this year, revenues continued to expand, coming in at $253.6m. It's net losses during the period stood at around $69m.
But the losses are unlikely to matter much to investors, who will be keen to buy into a company that continues to grow - and, crucially, appears to demonstrate a mastery of drumming up business on mobile devices. With PC sales falling sharply and a growing number of users now browsing the web on their smartphones and tablets, online companies have come under pressure to show investors that they can generate interest - and advertising dollars - on mobile devices. Twitter, according to its IPO paperwork, generates about 65 per cent of its revenues from mobile, a fact that is likely be welcomed by analysts and investors alike.
Twitter's move towards a public offering has been a constant source of speculation on Wall Street ever since Facebook made its stock market debut last year. But the mirco-blogging service - which plans to list its shares under the ticker 'TWTR' - will be hoping to avoid the problems that dogged Facebook's arrival on the public markets, with the social media giant's shares spending an extended period under their IPO offer price as investors balked at the initial valuation of $38 apiece. The stock only recovered this year after Facebook showed that it could continue to grow revenues from mobile advertising.
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