Twitter Earnings Fiasco: A Payday For Wall Street’s Relentless Data Pursuit

Twitter (TWTR) had a very bad week when its stock tanked ~ 27% in 5 trading days.  It all started when its weak Q1 earnings were posted early by Nasdaq (QQQ) on Twitter’s IR web page.  Twitter originally planned to release earnings after market close on Tuesday (so investors may have time to digest the not-so-impressive Q1 numbers to perhaps arrive at a more rational course of action). 

Press-release earnings after market-close followed by earnings call the next morning is a popular standard operational procedure of Investor Relations (IR) at many publicly traded companies.  Twitter’s best laid plan was totally destroyed first by the big Nasdaq goof posting earnings about 2 hours before market-close, then by Selerity, a little-know cyber data sleuth that found and twitted Twitter’s disappointing Q1 results to the whole world. Investors jumped on the early ‘leaked’ info and rushed for the exit.  Twitter had to halt trading briefly and wound up officially releasing the earnings shortly before the closing bell. The stock continued to drift lower and closed at $37.84 on Friday, down more than 27%  or $14 for the week.

Chart Source: Business Insider, May 1, 2015

Fox Business reported that Nasdaq has confirmed that its unit was responsible for the Twitter earnings leak by publishing the Q1 results before the close of trading Tuesday.

“At 3:07pm, inadvertently made an early version of Twitter’s earnings release publicly accessible. We are investigating the root cause. It did not impact any other clients,” said Joe Christinat, a Nasdaq spokesperson. 

Our understanding is that part of the service offered by is managing the entire content of the IR section of company’s web site including press release, SEC filings, etc.  A lot of Nadsaq-listed companies outsource the IR content management to  Business Insider quoted one trader saying 

“They [Twitter] post the report but think if they don’t have a link to it on the website, no one can see it.” 

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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