How Fast Can Investors Dump Snap’s Stock?

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Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) earnings were so poor that its shares plunged 20% after hours to $12. Volume for the day hit 41 million shares. As investors flee the stock, volume will become an issue. Average shares traded in Snap have been less than 30 million per day over the past 60 days. Those investors dumping the stock will need to compete with one another as they race out the door.

Snap’s shares are already down from a 52-week high of $24.99. Snap has 1.2 billion shares outstanding. Its float is less. Based on the last report of its short interest, total shares sold short were 121 million, or 24.9% of float. That short interest rose 11.8% in the two-week period that ended October 13.

The free fall of Snap’s shares is likely to continue today, and perhaps longer, and likely will worsen because of a lack of buyers. The number of investors who believe in its story has dwindled, probably to tiny numbers, even if the stock falls much further from current levels.

While Snap held out one hope for investors, based on the sell-off of shares after hours, those plans did not drive any positive momentum. Editors at Bloomberg wrote:

Parent company Snap Inc. on Tuesday turned in its third earnings report as a public company, and for the third time its shares tanked when both revenue and user growth were disappointing. Snapchat also disclosed it would change the fundamental character of its app — the sole significant revenue source — to make it easier for people to use.

This might be a good idea, but Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel said this decision “will be disruptive to our business in the short term.” Mind you, when Snapchat was pitching itself to public company investors, the fact that the app was befuddling to many people older than 30 was cited as a feature, not a weakness than needed a serious revision.

As a matter of fact, investors may view that plan as worse that earnings. If so, the stampede out of the shares could run at volume figures so high that it will help drive shares down, and down quickly.