Why Twitter, Inc. Stock Plummeted Today

By Markets Fool.com

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

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What:Shortly before the market closed on Tuesday, shares of Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) were halted, then reopened to close down more than 18% following a leak of the company's earnings report.

So what: Specifically, data science firm Selerity tweeted select figures from Twitter's earnings results, which were originally scheduled for release after the market close. Selerity later insisted the release was "sourced from Twitter's investor relations website. [...] No leak. No hack."

In any case, the drop likely would have happened in after-hours trading within minutes, anyway. Twitter's official results state first-quarter revenue climbed 74% year over year, to $436 million, or just below its previously forecast range of $440 million to $450 million. To Twitter's credit, revenue would have climbed 80% had it not been for the negative impact of foreign exchange rates.

Meanwhile, Twitter's adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization was $104 million -- well above its expected range of $89 million to $94 million. But adjusted net income also came in at $47 million, or $0.07 per share.

Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of just $0.04 per share, but on significantly higher sales of $456.8 million.

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Finally, in a separate press release today, Twitter announced it has agreed to acquire TellApart, a marketing technology company whose dynamic ads and email marketing focuses on retailers and e-commerce advertisers.

Now what: "While we exceeded our EBITDA target for the first quarter," explained Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, "revenue growth fell slightly short of our expectations due to lower-than-expected contribution from some of our newer direct response products. It's still early days for these products, and we have a strong pipeline that we believe will drive increased value for direct response advertisers in the future."

Fair enough. But it also doesn't help that Twitter lowered guidance, as well. For the current quarter, it projects revenue of $470 million to $485 million, and adjusted EBITDA of $97 million to $102 million. Wall Street was looking for second-quarter earnings of $0.07 per share on much higher revenue of $538.2 million.

For the full year, Twitter anticipates revenue of $2.17 billion to $2.27 billion, with adjusted EBITDA of $510 million to $535 million. Analysts were modeling full-year 2015 revenue and earnings of $2.37 billion and $0.38 per share, respectively. At the same time, Twitter noted this guidance is primarily a product of foreign exchange rates and the impact of its new acquisition, which is expected to close around June 1, 2015.

Considering that Twitter's monetization efforts are still so young, I'm willing to weather this drop in favor of maintaining a long-term view. For patient investors willing to wait as Twitter's plans begin to bear fruit, today's pullback could be a great opportunity to buy.

The article Why Twitter, Inc. Stock Plummeted Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Twitter. The Motley Fool owns shares of Twitter. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.