A lot of the industry watchers that follow Twitter are out here on the West Coast, where the company is based. And for good reason! The Twitter diaspora exists in a large force out here and are great to keep in touch with in order to keep context, and it’s important to be in general geographic proximity of the company’s headquarters.
Which is part of the reason we’re a little upset with a stunt Twitter just pulled: moving its earnings release to 4:00 a.m. PST on Thursday. Normally tech companies tend to report after regular-day trading ends at around 1:00 p.m. PST. There are a lot of reasons for this — but, in general, it’s tradition. And it’s less of a nightmare for the Left Coast.
Earnings reports are usually watershed moments for public companies. Once a quarter, we get a good read as to what’s going on behind the curtain. Twitter is no exception, and, in fact, it’s been a big disaster train for the past several weeks. First it was For Sale, then Probably Going To Be Bought and now It’s Probably Not Going To Be Bought.
All the while, Twitter’s rollercoaster stock has continued a general trend: down. Since co-founder Jack Dorsey took over the company (while still running his payments startup, Square) the stock is down nearly 40 percent, and the swings throughout discussions as to who would buy Twitter moved billions of dollars on the market every day. Things are not going well over at Twitter right now.
So we watch these reports very closely, especially finance nerds like some of us at TechCrunch (and also a former co-worker who shall remain unnamed). Twitter’s excuse is that it’s because analysts, who ask questions on conference calls following the earnings reports — which are often just as illuminating — said that there’s a bunch of conflict with other companies reporting that day. In Twitter’s partial defense, this is true: Google, Amazon, Atlassian and others all report on Thursday, as well. But, 4 a.m. PST?
So, what’s going to happen? Will we end up seeing more of the same — slow user growth (or declines) — or is there something deeper that might be happening while the rest of us might be asleep? Will they announce some big stuff like layoffs? Are they actually getting bought? Or, even worse, that the company is going to go private in another Dell-level LBO?
Just to be clear: You can probably file this under conspiracy theory. But either way, joke’s on you Twitter. We’ll still have people up to watch the earnings report.
We emailed Twitter to see what fun news they’re trying to drop while most of the West Coast is asleep, and will update the post if they respond with a comment.