Twitter Shares Plunge 18 Percent After Leaked Financial Information

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo

The company's quarterly results were mixed, but some details surfaced about an hour before the results were scheduled for release.

Shares of Twitter fell 18 percent on Tuesday after its quarterly revenue was leaked online about an hour before the online company's results were due for release.

After the leak, Twitter's shares fell 6 percent before the New York Stock Exchange halted trading of the stock. When trading resumed, just for the closing bell, the company plunged even more.

The leak came from Selerity, a firm that uses technology to crawl around the Internet looking for unreleased data. Selerity tweeted ironically that it did not hack Twitter; it simply found the revenue figure buried in the investor relations area of Twitter's own website.

Twitter responded by releasing its actual results earlier than planned. The company earned 7 cents per share while analysts were predicting 4 cents, but revenue of $436 million was about $20 million shy of expectations. The number matched what Selerity leaked.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said the weaker-than-expected revenue was owed to "a lower-than-expected contribution from some of our newer direct-response products."

The number of monthly active users was 302 million about what analysts predicted and about 18 percent higher than the number was in the same quarter a year ago.

Twitter also said Tuesday it has agreed to acquire, for an undisclosed price, TellApart, a company that helps retailers market products to targeted audiences across multiple devices.

Twitter's shares dropped $9.39 Tuesday to $42.27.