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Twitter sinks 12% on revenue miss, guidance

Twitter on Tuesday posted mixed quarterly results and gave sales guidance that disappointed Wall Street, even as its user base grew more than expected.

The social media company reported adjusted first-quarter earnings of 15 cents per share on $594.5 million in revenue. Earnings rose from 7 cents per share in the previous year, while sales climbed 36 percent from $435.9 million in the prior-year period.

Analysts expected Twitter to report earnings of 10 cents per share on $608 million in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Shares dropped about 12 percent in after-hours trading Tuesday.

Twitter said it expects second-quarter revenue of $590 million to $610 million, well below analysts' estimates of $678 million, according to Thomson Reuters. In the company's conference call, executives downplayed the low estimate, saying it did not reflect sagging interest from advertisers.

The social media company's stock has fallen more than 20 percent this year amid lingering concerns about user and sales growth. Average monthly active users, or MAUS, came in at 310 million, up 3 percent from the prior-year period.

Wall Street had expected about 308 million MAUs, according to StreetAccount. Mobile MAUs accounted for 83 percent of Twitter's total.

On the call, chief financial officer Anthony Noto said product improvement had improved user retention. He noted that both "seasonality" and "market initiatives" had driven growth.

Twitter, like its rival Facebook, has expanded sales mostly on the strength of advertising revenue. First-quarter ad sales came in at $531 million, up 37 percent from the prior-year period.

Mobile ad revenue made up about 88 percent of the total.

In the call, chief operating officer Adam Bain said Twitter wants to boost monetization for its live-streaming service Periscope. It wants to expand promoted video options on the platform.

Many market watchers had hoped for stronger sales growth.

Despite its struggles with investors, Twitter scored a big win earlier this month as the National Football League chose it to stream Thursday night games during the 2016 regular season.

In the call, CEO Jack Dorsey noted that other sports leagues around the globe contacted Twitter in the wake of the deal because "they wanted to provide an even better experience for their fans."