How Analysts Now View Snap

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Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) released its most recent quarterly results after the markets closed on Tuesday. Many have criticized Snap in the past for not being able to actually make money, or even just as a passing fad. However, this earnings report is seemingly breathing new life into the stock and analysts are changing their tune.

24/7 Wall St. has included some brief highlights from the earnings report, as well as what some analysts are saying about the stock afterward.

The company said that it had a net loss of $0.13 per share on $285.7 million in revenue, which compares with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters that called for a net loss of $0.16 per share and $252.95 million in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had a net loss of $0.19 per share on revenue of $165.68 million.

During the quarter, daily active users (DAU) increased 8.9 million or 5% sequentially to 187 million, representing the highest net adds since the third quarter 2016. DAUs increased 28.8 million or 18% year over year.

Average revenue per user was $1.53 in the quarter, up 46% year over year and 31% sequentially. Cost of revenue per user was $1.02, up 5% year over year and down 14% sequentially.

Merrill Lynch upgraded Snap to a Buy rating from Neutral and raised its price objective to $24 from $16. The firm believes that the transition to auction-based platform has unlocked ad scalability and should lead to multiyear user monetization tailwinds. Merrill Lynch was encouraged also with usage, new feature innovation, app redesign and upcoming Creative Tool programmatic shift. The firm gave its investment rationale as follows:

Snap is a top mobile name, and is still early in its opportunity to benefit from smartphone proliferation. We are constructive on Snap’s demographics and high engagement, and encouraged with the rate of new feature innovation. We believe ongoing transition to programmatic will enable user monetization to scale, and see high monetization potential given the concentration of its user base in core ad markets.

Credit Suisse reiterated an Outperform rating and raised its price target to $20 from $18. Credit Suisse went into further detail in its report:

Programmatic reached 90% (vs 3Q17’s 80%, 60% in 2Q17) as Snap has nearly completed the shift away from reserve-based to a market-price/auction driven sales of its ad inventory. Advertiser count on auction doubling sequentially, which speaks to the company’s efforts to date to evangelize the platform. Hence, rather than allowing auction pressure to drive rapid price increases, we expect Snap to manage availability of inventory to keep price (and directionally ROI) attractive for advertisers as it aims to gain incremental share of budgets. With user growth also resuming, our ad revenue estimates reset higher (offset by decrease in Spectacles revenue which we now model for 2018 to be zero).

Wedbush maintained a Neutral rating but raised its price target to $12.50 from $9. The firm had this to say:

A large top-line beat in Q4 was driven by holiday brand sales, improving auction dynamics, and better-than-expected user growth. User growth reaccelerated slightly, and the revenue strength combined with streamlined costs resulted in profitability upside. Expect solid revenue growth ahead, while lack of visibility into sustained cost control and user growth tempers optimism.

A few other analysts took this opportunity to weigh in on Snap as well:

  • Stifel maintained a Hold rating and raised its price target to $17 from $13.
  • Morgan Stanley maintained it as Underweight and raised its target to $11 from $10.
  • SunTrust Robinson Humphrey upgraded it to a Hold rating from Sell.
  • Susquehanna downgraded it to Negative from Neutral and cut its price target from $10 to $7.
  • Oppenheimer reiterated an Outperform rating and raised its price target to $19 from $14.
  • JPMorgan upgraded to a Neutral rating from Underweight raised its price target to $16 from $10.
  • RBC upgrade to an Outperform rating and raised its price target to $21 from $15.

Shares of Snap were last seen up 39% at $19.55, with a prior consensus analyst price target of $12.36 and a 52-week trading range of $11.28 to $29.44.