Snap is the place hype and cash go to die


Evan SpiegelGetty
  • Snap on Tuesday reported a 62% enhance in third-quarter income, whereas its internet loss tripled to $443 million.  
  • This occurred amid large an enormous stock writedown on Spectacles.
  • Snap’s enterprise continues to be rising, however beset by competitors from Facebook, Apple, and others, progress is already slowing.


This is the place hype (and cash) goes to die.

Snap Inc., the father or mother firm of Snapchat, reported late Tuesday that its revenues within the third quarter rose 62% from a 12 months in the past, to $208 million, whereas its internet loss greater than tripled to $443 million. How? It wasn’t simple, however right here’s how they did it:

  • Cost of revenues, $211 million, exceeds revenues, a difficult indicator. Most of it’s what Snap pays Alphabet for internet hosting its content material within the Google Cloud.
  • Research and improvement bills, $239 million, additionally exceed revenues.
  • Sales and advertising and marketing bills, $102 million, to push these Snapchat Spectacles? More on these in a second.
  • General and administrative bills: $118 million.

Total bills of $670 million, towards revenues of $208 million. That’s what I name a enterprise mannequin.

When traders noticed the outcomes, shares (SNAP) plunged 17% in late buying and selling to $12.53. They’re now 26% under the IPO value of $17. What is wonderful is that shares had recovered partially from prior plunges as new hype surfaced about this being a shopping for alternative.

The day after the IPO in March, shares hit $29.30, which gave Snap a market capitalization of $30 billion. Snap’s market cap now of $18 billion continues to be a head-scratcher.

For the 9 months, the corporate’s internet loss got here to $three.1 billion, together with the wealthy stock-based compensation of $2.5 billion doled out to founders and the individuals who’re working tirelessly to supply these losses.

Then there’s this: The enterprise continues to be rising, however beset by competitors from Facebook, Apple, and others, progress is already slowing, in response to Snap’s do-it-yourself metrics, in Q3:

  • Daily lively customers (DAU) grew 17% year-over-year to 178 million.
  • Average income per person grew 39% year-over-year to $1.17.
  • Hosting prices per DAU rose 6% to $zero.68 in Q3 2017. This is what Snap pays Alphabet to host its content material within the Google Cloud. In its S-1 submitting earlier than the IPO, Snap disclosed this five-year $2-billion contract with Google. Good for GOOG!

And Snap disclosed one other doozie at the moment: “Excess inventory and related charges” of $39.9 million “related to Spectacles inventory, primarily related to excess inventory reserves and inventory purchase commitment cancellation charges.”

On October 23, there was a warning in The Information about these plastic sun shades with a built-in digicam that solely zero.08% of Snapchat customers ever purchased:

Snap badly overestimated demand for its Spectacles and now has lots of of hundreds of unsold models sitting in warehouses, both absolutely badembled or in elements, in response to two folks near the corporate. The disclosure undercuts Snap CEO Evan Spiegel’s latest rivalry that Spectacles gross sales of greater than 150,000 had topped the corporate’s expectations.

So let me add a particular be aware about these Spectacles and the Snap-IPO hype. In February, weeks earlier than the IPO, one of many many promoters that have been engaged in spreading the hype, despatched me and different media retailers an e-mail, which stated:

“Hi Wolf, we wanted to see how Snapchat’s IPO stacks up against Twitter and Facebook’s, so we compiled extensive research and created an infographic illustrating Snapchat’s place in the tech IPO landscape based on key metrics, revenue and expenses, and user base.”

The “media kit” included “The Snapchat IPO Cheat Sheet [Infographic]” and this:

“We’ve also published graphics of a $5B sales forecast of the Snap Spectacles and the possibility of a Snapchat smartphone. Would you be interested in sharing or covering these?”

I get this type of stuff on a regular basis, from cryptocurrency promoters to loan-for-home-flippers promoters. This was the title of the infographic:

US snap title infographicWolf Street

And this chart within the infographic exhibits 4 completely different progress situations for Spectacles revenues, together with $7.5 billion in 2020. Put it within the LOL clbad:

us snap chart infographicWolf Street

“What are you guys smoking?” I wrote again. “I’d like to have some of that too  :-)”

A superb factor that Snap nonetheless sits on $2.three billion in money and securities extracted from traders through its phenomenally wealthy IPO, throughout which it raised almost $four billion, of which $1 billion went correctly to its founders and early traders. At least they received a few of their cash out.

How lengthy earlier than that $2.three billion is burned up? Snap burned $220 million in money within the quarter. At this price, it’s going to take about 10 quarters to burn this money. So not like Blue Apron, which is working brief on money, Snap was hyped to such an extent earlier than the IPO, together with the $5-billion Spectacles nonsense and the foolish infographic despatched to media retailers, that it was capable of extract almost $four billion from traders, who’ve been ruing the day.

Update: Today, Wednesday, Snap shares tank 16%, after it disclosed this morning that Tencent had acquired a 12% stake in previous months that neither Snap nor Tencent disclosed. Tencent is ruing the day. Read…. Snap Gave Middle Finger to its Voteless Shareholders Today, after Disclosing Ugly Quarter Yesterday

Get the most recent Snap inventory value right here.

Read the unique article on Wolf Street. Copyright 2017. Follow Wolf Street on Twitter.

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