Short Interest in Snap Rises as Wall Street Turns Against It Again

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The short interest in social media company Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) rose 16 million shares, or 17%, to 109 million shares for the period that ended May 15. It is the 11th most shorted stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Worse, the position is 25% of the float, a sign of how big the bet really is.

After a brief rally earlier in the year, Snap shares are back near their 52-week low of $10.50, against a high for the period of $21.75. Among the reasons are poor earnings and savage competition from much larger Facebook. In the midst of all this, Snap thinks among the most important thing it can say is that it released its own eyeglasses, dubbed “Spectacles.” On a more important note, Snap redesigned the Snapchat interface and the reception was horrible.

Although Snap’s revenue rose in the most recent quarter, that was the only good news for the period. Revenue was $149 million in the period a year ago and rose to $231 million. But Snap lost $385 million.

The press release with earnings made note of what investors had feared:

Daily Active Users (DAU) grew from 166 million in Q1 2017 to 191 million in Q1 2018, an increase of 15% year-over-year. DAUs increased 2% quarter-over-quarter, from 187 million in Q4 2017.

Quarter over previous quarter is the number investors look at.

Snap’s description of itself:

Snap Inc. is a camera company.

We believe that reinventing the camera represents our greatest opportunity to improve the way people live and communicate.

We contribute to human progress by empowering people to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun together.

By the way, Snap is not a camera company.