How Roblox, a video game platform for kids, became a $30 billion company

Twitter Q4 Results Trump Wall Street View

Twitter Inc. (TWTR) Tuesday reported an increase in profit for the fourth quarter as revenues grew 28%. The social media giant’s results trumped Wall Street estimates.

San Francisco, California-based Twitter’s fourth-quarter profit rose to $222 million or $0.27 from $119 million or $0.15 per share last year.

Adjusted earnings for the quarter were $0.38 per share, up from $0.25 per share last year. On average, 25 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters estimated earnings of $0.31 per share.

Fourth-quarter revenues grew 28% to $1.29 billion from 1.01 billion last year. Analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $1.19 billion for the quarter.

Average monetizable daily active Twitter user (mDAU) was 192 million for fourth quarter, compared to 152 million in the same period last year and compared to 187 million in the previous quarter.

Commenting on the results, CEO Jack Dorsey said, “We reported a 27% year-over-year increase in mDAU in Q4 2020, reaching an average of 192 million. Our product changes to date are promoting healthier conversations for those who use our service, including advertisers and partners, and we are excited about our plans to continue innovating in 2021.”

Looking forward to the first quarter, Twitter expects revenues to be between $940 million and $1.04 billion. Analysts currently estimate revenues of $965.14 million.

TWTR closed Tuesday’s trading at $59.88, up $1.68 or 2.89%, on the Nasdaq. The stock further gained $1.17 or 1.95%, in the after-hours trading.

European Economics Preview: German ZEW Economic Confidence Due

Economic sentiment from Germany and quarterly national accounts from euro area are due on Tuesday, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

At 1.30 am ET, the French statistical office Insee releases unemployment data for the fourth quarter. The jobless rate is seen unchanged 9 percent in the fourth quarter.

At 4.00 am ET, Italy’s foreign trade data is due for December.

At 5.00 am ET, Eurostat publishes flash euro area GDP estimates for the fourth quarter. The statistical office is expected to confirm 0.7 percent sequential fall in GDP.

In the meantime, Germany’s ZEW economic confidence survey results are due. Economists forecast the confidence index to fall to 59.6 in February from 61.8 in January.

Herald morning quiz: February 17

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European Economics Preview: Germany’s Final CPI Data Due

Final consumer prices from Germany and industrial production from France are due on Wednesday, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

At 2.00 am ET, Destatis is slated to issue final consumer prices for January. According to preliminary estimate, consumer prices rose 1 percent annually after falling 0.3 percent in December.

In the meantime, Statistics Norway publishes consumer prices for January. Inflation is seen at 1.7 percent versus 1.4 percent in December.

At 2.45 am ET, France industrial production data is due. Economists forecast production to grow 0.2 percent on month in December, in contrast to a 0.9 percent fall in November.

At 3.30 am ET, Sweden’s central bank is set to announce its interest rate decision.

At 6.00 am ET, January consumer price data is due from Latvia. Prices had decreased 0.5 percent on year in December.

English health authority says 38 cases of new Covid variant found

Health authorities in England have identified 38 cases of a new coronavirus variant which has a key mutation that is thought to reduce the effectiveness of vaccines, the government said on Tuesday.

"There is currently no evidence that this set of mutations causes more severe illness or increased transmissibility," Professor Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England (PHE) said in a statement. PHE said the cases were dispersed across England.

The variant, known as B.1.525, has the E484K spike protein mutation, which is also present in the South African variant and is the key mutation found so far that could undermine the effectiveness of vaccines.

The B.1.525 variant has also been detected in Nigeria, Denmark and Canada, Public Health England said.

Sixth Street Partners sues to block Dyal's SPAC merger

(Reuters) – Investment firm Sixth Street Partners has sued asset manager Dyal Capital Partners to block the latter’s deal to go public through a merger with blank-check company, Altimar Acquisition Corp.

Altimar said on Tuesday it would contest the lawsuit.

(Corrects typo in paragraph 1)

How Roblox, a video game platform for kids, became a $30 billion company

More than half of the children in the United States play video games on Roblox.

In fact, the massively popular gaming platform has grown so much during the coronavirus pandemic, the company's valuation has skyrocketed from $4 billion in early 2020 to $30 billion in early 2021.

What makes Roblox so popular? It's a social gaming platform where users can play a library of games and hang out and chat with their friends. There are games for all ages and tastes — games where you raise a virtual pet, operate a pizzeria with friends or run amok in an open-world take on cops-and-robbers.

Roblox also relies on its own users to develop games for its platform — not giant, publicly traded studios such as Electronic Arts or Activision Blizzard. Its game creation engine, Roblox Studio, allows users to make games and receive a cut of the profits.

"If you think about how to make a game 10 years ago, you had to have a deep knowledge of programming languages," says Andrew Uerkwitz, senior emerging tech analyst at Oppenheimer and Company. "Now, with Unity or Roblox or several other game engines that are out there, it is actually very easy."

Here's a look at Roblox's business model, why investors are excited about the platform, and the company's plans to go public in 2021.