Pinterest revenue tops $1B but profit proves elusive

The company, which went public last year, has yet to post a profit.

Pinterest Inc.'s revenue crossed the $1 billion mark in 2019, driven by a 46 percent increase in the holiday quarter as it bet on online shopping.

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The San Francisco company said it expects revenue to reach about $1.52 billion in 2020, ahead of analysts' projected $1.47 billion, according to FactSet.

Pinterest, which emerged in its early days as a favorite for design enthusiasts and do-it-yourselfers who could "pin" visual ideas on digital boards, has been expanding by helping people find shopping ideas and inspiration.

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On Thursday, it said it planned to launch a verified-merchants program that would initially focus on fashion and home decor. Sellers would have to meet some guidelines to join the program, such as having a clear shipping policy and customer-service contact information, offering buyers some peace of mind.

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The company's shares rose 17 percent to $26.95 in after-hours trading on better-than-expected results.

Pinterest, which went public last year, hasn't yet posted a profit.

Recent investments, from boosting the speed of uploads to adding videos with makeup tutorials or cooking directions, have fueled the company's growth -- both in terms of revenue and users -- but also added to the mounting losses.

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Pinterest ended 2019 with a loss of $1.36 billion, or $3.24 a share, for the year, compared with a loss of $63 million, or 50 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 51 percent to $1.14 billion, but expenses more than tripled to $2.53 billion.

It ended the year with 335 million monthly active users, up 26 percent from the previous year.