How Analysts View Snap After Earnings

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Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) saw its shares absolutely crumble following its first-quarter earnings report late on Wednesday. Although the shares recovered slightly on Friday, the stock still ended the week down 17.5%. Practically the entire drop was due to earnings, but analysts nearly across the board cut their targets, taking a little more air out of the stock in the longer term.

Here, 24/7 has included some of the highlights from the earnings report, along with what a few analysts are saying to look for ahead.

Snap posted a net loss of $2.31 per share and $149.6 million in revenue. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters had forecast a net loss of $0.19 per share and revenue of $157.98 million. The same period of last year reportedly had a net loss of $0.14 per share and $38.80 million in revenue.

In the first quarter, daily active users (DAU) grew to 166 million from 122 million last year, an increase of 36%. DAUs increased 5% quarter over quarter, from 158 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Average revenue per user (ARPU) totaled $0.90 in this quarter, an increase of 181% year over year, while ARPU decreased 14% quarter over quarter.

At the same time, hosting costs per DAU were $0.60, compared with $0.52 in the first quarter of 2016 and $0.72 in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Jefferies maintained a Buy rating and kept its high $30 price target in place. The Jefferies report said:

Snap reported its first quarter as a public company showing both DAU & ARPU growth Y/Y. Engagement continues to increase on the platform with users on average spending 30+minutes/day. Expected seasonality in revenue led to a Q/Q decline in ARPU, but we expect Snap to buck that trend as it has opportunities to increase ad load as well as offer advertisers better targeting capability. Maintain Buy & $30 price target.

Merrill Lynch maintained a Neutral rating and lowered its price objective to $23 from $25. While the firm noted revenue and earnings under street expectations and while it lowered its expectations ahead, it does think that longer-term investors will like growing engagement. The firm said:

We are encouraged by early signs of a rebound in Android user growth and growing user time spent, and we think Snap will effectively monetize its user base over the long-run. However, deceleration of user growth, competitive concerns, volatility due to absence of Street expectations management, and lock-up expiration are overhangs that are likely to continue. We reiterate our Neutral rating and lower our PO to $23 based on slightly lower user monetization estimates in our DCF.

A few other analysts weighed in as well:

  • Barclays cut its price target to $18 from $24.
  • Cantor Fitzgerald upgraded it to Neutral from Underweight but the price target was cut to $17 from $18.
  • Citigroup kept a Buy rating but lowered its target from $27 to $24.
  • Cowen still has an Outperform rating but cut its price target to $21 from $26.
  • Deutsche Bank lowered its price target to $23 from $30.
  • JPMorgan maintained a Neutral rating and the price target was cut to $20 from $24.
  • Oppenheimer raised it to Outperform from Perform with a $23 price target.
  • Stifel cut its price target from $24 to $22.
  • UBS cut the price target to $19 from $24.

Shares of Snap closed Friday up 6% at $19.14, with a consensus analyst price target of $21.70 and a 52-week trading range of $17.59 to $29.44. Over the course of the week, the stock was actually down 17.5%.