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12 August 2017, 12:36 | Gina Pena
Snap Grows Daily Users to 173 Million, But Delivers Disappointing Earnings
With sentiment at such ghastly levels, and our view that Snap can monetize its unique position with millennials, we believe the stock is in a bottoming process.
Snap reporteddaily active users and second-quarter revenue below analyst forecasts, sending shares down to US$12. Snap stock closed Thursday at $13.67, more than 44 percent below the $24.48 opening-day closing price for the stock back in early March.
Snap, or Snapchat as it was known originally, was founded in Stanford University by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown while they were students.
But the number of daily active users drawn to Snap's core product - its disappearing message app - is what spooked investors. It now has 173 million daily users, up from 166 million in the first quarter.
By being opaque and simply promising "fun" things are coming and that "a lot of progress is being made", Spiegel isn't giving his users any reason to care about the continued existence of Snapchat right now.
The results underscore the heat that Snapchat is feeling from copycat features from Facebook and Instagram. Instagram Stories was launch 12 months ago and had more than 250 million users as of August 2.
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With the lackluster results and stock price declining, Spiegel did promise not to sell any of his own shares in the company, a move usually reserved to instill confidence. Spiegel gave a non-answer, and the analyst was heard laughing and saying, "I didn't even understand his response" before his call was cut off. J P Morgan Chase & Co restated a "neutral" rating and set a $18.00 target price (down previously from $20.00) on shares of Snap in a research report on Monday, June 5th. The slowdown in user growth comes as larger rival Facebook continues to copy Snap's best features, rolling them out to its user base of over 2 billion users across various properties.
But it is not all doom and gloom: Snapchat still has far deeper engagement, with the average user spending more than twice the time in the app than the typical Instagrammer.
Snapchat is now a company that has to prove it's growing and simply saying that there's a long-term plan to do so isn't going to be enough.
Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on SNAP shares.
"We'd really like to see Android users more engaged", he said. "The other five are platforms run by two companies with huge market caps", he said. The business had revenue of $181.70 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $186.49 million. The company earns some revenue from branded or sponsored filters and lenses, but the bulk comes from advertisements. The company had a net loss of $443 million, or 36 cents a share, in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Snap by 10.0% in the second quarter.
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