What Wall Street Is Saying About Snap’s Disappointing Results

Snap Inc.’s day might need been quite a bit worse if not for Tencent Holdings Ltd.

Shares had been on observe to commerce to a three-month low earlier than the corporate disclosed that China’s Tencent had taken a 145.eight million share non-voting stake in Snap. The inventory briefly erased a lot of its pre-market plunge, regardless of disappointing earnings and plans to revamp its app that spurred a number of badysts to downgrade their rankings.

The earnings disappointment has grow to be a well-known sample since Snap’s March IPO. It’s the third time that the social media operator has reported earnings, and the third time shares have tanked afterwards, this time not solely on worse-than-anticipated income and consumer development, however on a huge overhaul to its app and alter to its income mannequin.

The agency went to nice lengths to distinguish itself from Twitter Inc. throughout its preliminary public providing course of. But Snap’s 30 p.c fall since its IPO by way of Tuesday introduced its market cap inside a couple of million of Twitter’s. Shares resumed their pre-market decline, falling eight.5 p.c at 7:25 a.m. in New York.

Given the outcomes and adjustments set to occur within the coming months, Wall Street had lots to say, right here’s a wrap.

UBS, Eric J Sheridan

Sheridan downgraded the inventory to promote from the impartial he’s held for the reason that IPO and slashed the worth goal to $7 from $12.

“In the first two quarters as a public company, we framed Snap’s disappointing results as ‘growing pains’ but felt the long-term debates around user growth and ad business scaling were left unsolved. While many of those questions remain unanswered after a third earnings report, it is now very likely that Snap will continue to struggle on multiple fronts in the coming 12 months – a redesigned app could bring opportunity but also platform disruption & trying to scale its ad business as user growth is tepid while competing against Alphabet, Facebook & Amazon is likely going to prove difficult. We no longer believe Snap warrants a set of valuation metrics much different than its peers, as the company’s growth prospects (while not producing anywhere near industry leading profit metrics) decelerate in coming quarters.”

RBC Capital Markets, Mark Mahaney

Mahaney additionally lowered his score on Snap, to sector carry out from outperform, and minimize the worth goal to $15 from $20.

“We initiated with an outperform when the stock was at $24. We have had the wrong call. We do believe that Snap is a very interesting badet with great product innovation. However, we see 3 outstanding issues: 1) Visibility: The revenue shortfall against expectations and management commentary implies that management likely has much less visibility into the business than we thought. 2) Daily active user growth: We still haven’t seen an inflection in daily active user growth despite substantial product innovation. Advertisers go where the eyes are and we need to see further user growth. 3) Uncertain engagement: This quarter we didn’t see any detailed metrics highlighting that engagement was improving, with management noting simply that time spent, frequency of use, and Snap creation were all increasing. We believe these issues will take time to resolve and are thus moving our rating to Sector Perform.”

JPMorgan, Doug Anmuth

Anmuth downgraded Snap to underweight from impartial and minimize his value goal to $10 from $14.

“Snap is redesigning its app, a clear sign of recognition that the product is too difficult for many to use and that the service has not resonated enough with users 35 and up. Snap daily active users increased 4.5 million in 3Q to 178 million, below our projection for 9 million net adds and the 7 million added in second quarter. Even with the launch of Snap Map in late June, user growth was modest in July and August before picking up more in September to end the quarter. Snap gave little detail around what the app changes could look like, or the timing, but noted that it is actively studying mobile content feeds, and also indicated that Snap Map could receive greater prominence. We have long thought that Snap’s user interface is too complicated for many potential new users, and making bigger changes to the app could be the right approach long-term. But it also carries significant risk, as Snap’s heavily engaged existing user base — opening the app 25x per day and spending 40+ minutes per day on average (users <25) — could be disrupted.”

Pivotal Research, Brian Wieser

“Snap reported weak third quarter 2017 results versus expectations, with revenues well below forecasts and an absence of confidence that the attributed source of under-performance is net positive to the business. With some downward adjustments to our financial model post these results, our new price target is $8 per share on a year-end 2017 basis vs. $9 previously, which continues to lead us to rate the stock sell.”

Credit Suisse, Stephen Ju

“We believe it is only a matter of time before the programmatic impression mix approaches ~100 percent and the revenue via the auction surpbades 50 percent, at which point the pricing headwind should become a tailwind as the company continues to add advertisers and build auction pressure. Hence we do not view our investment thesis as being impaired but rather moving at a slower pace than we had hoped. And in the meantime, we take a more conservative stance on our estimates as we decrease our daily active user growth expectations as well as North America average revenue per user (primarily) – our price target resets lower back to $17 vs prior $20 and we maintain our outperform rating.”

Barclays, Ross Sandler


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