Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) has been a source of contention since the company had its initial public offering (IPO) in early March. Many market analysts have argued that there is not an efficient way to evaluate this company and as such most of the price targets have been weak, until now. The quiet period is over for the investment houses underwriting the IPO and — not surprisingly — they were very bullish on Snap.
This many analysts covering the IPO and taking positive stances on the stock calls into question whether these firms really have Chinese walls — meaning if their brokerage operations are truly separate from their corporate advisory operations.
Keep in mind that a majority of the firms issuing calls prior to the end of the silent period were more bearish on the stock.
Either way, it appears the analysts have spoken and a majority issuing calls were positive on the stock. No less than eight analysts initiated coverage of Snap, according to FactSet, with five of them giving the company the equivalent of Buy ratings and three placing Hold ratings, with price targets ranging from $23 to $31. That brings the average rating of the 25 analysts surveyed by FactSet to Hold and the average price target to $23.27.
Credit Suisse initiated coverage with an Outperform rating with a price target of $30. The brokerage firm went on to say:
While we freely concede that SNAP shares remain a concept stock with an investment thesis we expect to play out over the coming fiveplus years, we should receive signals every quarter of its monetization ramp progress. We believe Snap shares will be one of the most volatile in our coverage given its nascent state and high valuation.
A few other analysts commented after the silent period as well:
- Merrill Lynch started Snap with a Neutral rating.
- Cowen initiated it with an Outperform rating with a $26 price target.
- Deutsche Bank started it with a Buy rating and a $30 price target.
- Goldman Sachs has a Buy rating and a $27 price target.
- Jefferies started it with a Buy rating and a $30 price target.
- JPMorgan initiated coverage with a Neutral rating and a $24 price target.
- Morgan Stanley has an Overweight rating with a $28 price target.
- RBC starts initiated an Outperform rating with a $31 price target.
- Stifel has a Hold rating and a $24 price target.
Prior to the end of the silent period, analysts sounded more like this:
- Nomura has a Reduce rating with a $16 price target.
- FBN Securities has a Hold rating with a $23 price target.
- Cantor Fitzgerald has an Underweight rating with an $18 price target.
- Needham has an Underperform rating.
- Mizuho has a Neutral rating with a $20 price target.
- Susquehanna has a Neutral rating with a $22 price target.
- Monness Crespi & Hardt has a Buy rating with a $25 price target.
- Pivotal Research has a Sell rating with a $10 price target.
- Atlantic Securities has an Underweight rating with a $14 price target.
Shares of Snap were last seen up nearly 4% at $23.60 on Monday, with a post-IPO trading range of $18.90 to $29.44.