Even Trump’s Twitter binges aren’t enough to make it worth $11bn | Nils Pratley

Twitter director says he is proud daily usage is rising, but revenues only fell and profits are nowhere to be seen

As Jack Dorsey, the Twitter chief executive, “said hes” proud to report a 14% increase in daily usage of the social media service, the shares moved higher. Its hard to understand why. Quarterly revenues fell by 8 % to $548 m( 427 m ), the first time they have dropped since Twitter became a public corporation in 2013. Meanwhile, gains are nowhere to be seen. In the first one-quarter, the company lost $62 m, an $18 m improvement on a year ago, thanks to cost reduction, but scarcely justification for a stock market value of $11 bn less than it was, yet still substantial.

While we continue to face revenue headwinds, we believe that executing on our strategy and growing our audience should result in positive revenue growth over the long term, Dorsey articulated. The strategy is probably the only one merit endorse: get the audience up and hope revenues follow. But the current outage in the ties between audience and revenues recommends Twitters clout with advertisers is fading fast.

Maybe it is being outgunned by Facebook and Google, with their vastly greater audiences and budgetary questions. Or perhaps Twitter, despite Dorseys many modifications, is simply less are in accordance with commercial messages. If so, even Donald Trumps tweeting flurries, which boost the audience statistics, wont deliver redemption or a reason to value an 11 -year-old company making a loss so highly.

GSKs new director takes on the perennial question

Emma Walmsleys firstly big call as chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline was easy-going to make and correct: she ruled out a breakup and devoted herself to a corporate arrangement that mansions complex medications, inoculations and consumer products such as toothpaste and Horlicks under one roof.

In truth , nobody expected any other decision. Walmsley was an internal appointment, anointed by her predecessor Sir Andrew Witty. He expended ages deflecting calls for GSK to do the separates and she used to run the consumer divide. Still, theres no damage in Walmsley addressing the perennial subject, as she called it, in her first month in charge.

Like Witty, she argued that dependable cashflows from inoculations and consumer products are a natural counterweight to the higher peril and most volatile business of developing pharmaceutical stimulants. And she agreed that there are the potential benefits of being able to switch prescription medicines to the consumer category when patents expire. Neither argument is 100% convincing in itself, but both are more persuasive than a disruptive separation in which the only assured wins would be investment bankers and lawyers.

There were no major fireworks, then, which may include the reasons why the shares were the most difficult fallers in the FTSE 100, down 2 %, despite first-quarter figures that presented revenue and profits marginally ahead of City forecasts. But Walmsley was clearly signalling a reorganization of some sort in medications with her pointed criticism that GSK has sometimes pursued interesting stimulants that lack sufficient commercial-grade potential. Some programs may be dropped or jostle into partnerships.

Until full details are published in July, its hard to tell whether the strategy represents a tweak or a serious improvement. But world markets yawn seems odd. A new CEO who talks about disciplined selects to build the laboratories more commercial-grade usually gets applause from investors.

The Lloyds investigation is welcome, but a mess

It is right that Lloyds Banking Group experiences the need to answer definitively the charge that its committee and executives were self-complacent about scam at the Reading branch of HBOS.

The bank has appointed Dame Linda Dobbs, a retired high court magistrate, to investigate whether Lloyds handled the matter properly and met its reporting obligations after buying HBOS in 2009. The scam, for which six people were jailed in February, moved from 2003 to 2007, but victims have long argued that Lloyds wouldnt listen to their complaints after the takeover. That allegation is serious, and investigation into the cases is overdue.

Everybody happy then? Not really. The natural investigate is the Financial Conduct Authority, which is supposedly on the number of jobs. The regulators inquiry into HBOS Reading, which was suspended in 2013 when Thames Valley police leapt into action, reopened last month. The primary focus may be on what HBOS did under its own steam, but Lloyds activities after it bought the ailing lender will also be under the microscope.

Indeed, Lloyds will not be allowed to publish the Dobbs report or any of its findings until the FCA says so. Set a different way, Lloyds has launched an independent inquiry into itself that wont be regarded as independent or credible until the regulator lets. Its good that this affair is get the attention it deserves, but the process is a mess.

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