Twitter blames Elon Musk for earnings miss

Elon Musk
Elon Musk.
Theo Wargo—WireImage/Getty Images

Twitter once again took its fight with Elon Musk directly to shareholders Friday morning, blaming him for second-quarter earnings that came in short of analyst expectations.

The company reported a loss of 8 cents per share, versus estimates of earnings per share worth 14 cents, citing ad industry headwinds and “uncertainty related to the pending acquisition of Twitter by an affiliate of Elon Musk.” And because the uncertainty is likely to continue, the company said, it declined to give any guidance for the third quarter and did not host a call with analysts.

So far, Twitter says it has spent $33 million on costs related to the $44 billion acquisition offer. Those are likely to increase dramatically in the course of Twitter’s legal battle with the Tesla founder, who has tried to back out of his binding offer to buy the social media giant. Twitter sued Musk earlier in the month, saying he had refused to honor “his obligations to Twitter and its stockholders because the deal he signed no longer serves his personal interests.” That trial is set to begin in October.

On a positive note, Twitter continues to gain popularity with social media users. The company said it saw its number of monetizable daily active users (mDAU) in the U.S. climb from 39.6 million to 41.5 million in the second quarter, nearly a 15% gain. Globally, that number was up 17% to 196.3 million.

Revenue in the second quarter totaled $1.18 billion, a 1% drop from the same period last time. Costs and expenses were up 31% to $1.52 billion. Beyond the Musk-related charges, Twitter says, it spent $19 million on severance-related costs.

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