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Spotify's stock rallies after earnings as user growth brings a positive surprise

By Emily Bary

Spotify narrowly topped expectations for monthly active users and premium subscribers

Spotify Technology SA edged past Wall Street estimates Tuesday with its user growth for the latest quarter, helping to send its stock higher in premarket action.

The music-streaming company had 602 million monthly active users in the fourth quarter, up 5% on a sequential basis and ahead of the 601 million expected by analysts tracked by FactSet. Spotify (SPOT) reported 236 million premium subscribers, up 4% from the third quarter and above the 235 million that analysts were modeling.

Spotify called out outperformance in Latin America and its Rest of World locations. As relates to premium subscribers, the company also highlighted better-than-expected uptake of a promotional campaign.

Though Spotify beat subscriber expectations, it came up a bit short on revenue, reporting EUR3.67 billion on the top line, up from EUR3.17 billion a year before. Analysts had been looking for EUR3.72 billion.

The company said its EUR501 million in advertising-supported revenue marked an all-time high.

Spotify's gross margin of 26.7% edged out the company's guidance of 26.6%.

Shares were up 5% in premarket action Tuesday.

The company logged a EUR70 million net loss for the fourth quarter, or 36 cents a share, compared with a loss of EUR430 million, or EUR2.93 a share, in the year-earlier period. Analysts were looking for a 37-cent loss per share.

For the first quarter, Spotify expects 618 million monthly active users, along with 239 million premium subscribers. That compares with the FactSet consensus, which called for 619 million MAUs and 238 million premium subscribers.

The company models EUR3.6 billion in total revenue, about flat with the consensus view. Spotify anticipates that currency movements will have a 250 basis-point negative impact on year-over-year revenue growth.

-Emily Bary

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02-06-24 0726ET

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