Twilio Soars By Most in Nearly Three Years on Profit Outlook

(Bloomberg) — Twilio Inc. jumped by the most in almost three years after projecting a profit this quarter and setting the stage for $1 billion worth of stock buybacks.

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Earnings, excluding some items, will be 18 cents to 22 cents a share in the period ending in March, the company said Wednesday in a statement, beating analysts’ expectations of a loss of two cents, based on data compiled by Bloomberg. The company authorized a stock buyback program of as much as $1 billion through the end of 2024.

The software firm has been focused on improving profitability. On Monday, it announced a second round of job cuts, bringing Twilio’s total reductions to about 26% of its workforce — among the steepest in the industry. The company also announced it would close offices and pare back benefits as part of a cost-cutting push. “We have to spend less, streamline, and become more efficient,” Chief Executive Officer Jeff Lawson wrote in a message to employees.

Lawson, in eliminating the positions, acknowledged that Twilio had grown too fast over the past few years. The San Francisco-based company, best known for its direct-to-consumer text messaging services, has been betting on an expansion into the wider market for customer service tools in a bid to compete more forcefully with Salesforce Inc. and Adobe Inc. Recent acquisitions have included identity verifier Boku Identity Inc., toll-free messaging service Zipwhip and customer data provider Segment.

Shares were up as much as 18% at $77.79, the most since May 2020.

In a statement, Lawson said the company had “announced meaningful changes to Twilio’s leadership group, organizational structure, team size and capital allocation strategy that will both accelerate our path to profitability and most importantly, improve our execution.”

Before the first round of reductions announced in September, Twilio’s workforce had jumped to 8,510 employees at the end of June 2022 from 6,334 employees a year earlier. The company said it had 8,156 workers as of Dec. 31.

The stock had previously fallen 67% over the past year through Wednesday’s close amid a broad market slump.

For the quarter ending in December, sales were $1.02 billion, slightly exceeding estimates. Adjusted profit was 22 cents, while analysts had expected a loss of 9 cents. Twilio said revenue will be about $1 billion in the current period, just short of analysts’ average estimate of $1.02 billion.

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