Pinterest shares leap as changes bear fruit

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Pinterest shares leapt late Thursday after earnings figures showed the online bulletin board beat earnings and user expectations in the final quarter of last year.

Pinterest shares were up 17 percent in after-market trades that followed the release of the earnings report.

“Pinterest’s impressive (fourth quarter) revenues and swing toward profitability prove the company is realizing its potential,” said eMarketer principal analyst Andrew Lipsman.

“Recent product improvements are driving engagement with both users and advertisers in the US, while momentum in international user growth and monetization lays the foundation for a strong 2020.”

Pinterest reported revenue grew 46 percent to $400 million in the quarter, and recorded a $36 million loss. If adjusted for stock-based compensation and other factors, the company would have reported a profit that beat forecasts.

The San Francisco-based internet firm forecast that its revenue for this year could be as high as $1.52 billion.

“A strong Q4 marked the end of a year where we improved the foundation of the Pinterest app with more inspiring recommendations, faster performance and improved shopping experiences,” said co-founder and chief executive Ben Silbermann.

“In 2020, we continue to pursue our goal of making Pinterest the Internet’s home for inspiration by focusing on delivering relevant content, ads and shopping experiences so Pinners can easily go from inspiration to action.”

The number of people using Pinterest monthly reach 335 million in the quarter, a 26 percent increase from the same period a year earlier, according to the earnings report.

Shares in Pinterest popped on Tuesday after a market tracker reported that the online bulletin board surpassed Snapchat to become the third most used social media platform in the US.

Pinterest’s user base has topped that of Snapchat, research firm eMarketer said last month.

“While Snapchat has a young core audience that it caters to, Pinterest has a more universal appeal, and it’s made significant gains in a wide range of age groups,” eMarketer analyst Nazmul Islam said at the time.

The market tracking firm expected Pinterest to be more popular among US users in the years ahead, with the online bulletin board’s lead on the image-centric messaging service widening through the end of 2023.

With its share offering, Pinterest got off to a flying start on Wall Street early last year in the market debut for the visual discovery service.

Pinterest, launched in 2010, is a virtual bulletin board platform, with users decorating their boards with pictures showcasing interests including food, fashion, travel and lifestyle.

It also enables users to link to online shopping and other services to find items they have “pinned.”

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