Wall Street has had a love-hate relationship with Twitter over the last 12 months, as its shares have alternately surged and plunged around the time of the company's earnings reports.
This year has been no different, with the stock falling sharply on heavy volume three months ago on fourth-quarter numbers, only to surge as much as 10 percent on Wednesday after beating analysts' earnings estimates.
But there's one especially illuminating fact in today's earnings report, and the light it shines isn't flattering: The company becoming irrelevant in online advertising, compared to its two largest rivals — Google and Facebook.
Sales fell 8 percent for the quarter, a period in which both Alphabet and Facebook are expected to report substantial revenue growth for companies of their size. Alphabet is expected to have sold an additional $4 billion in digital ads during the first three months of the year, compared to the same period in 2016, for a total of $24.4 billion.
That's a rise of almost 20%, based on analyst estimates for its report, which comes after the bell on Thursday.
Facebook is seen to have added about $2.4 billion in additional revenue from a year ago, a surge of 45 percent, to $7.8 billion.