Why Analysts Have Big Expectations for Snap

Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) has been highlighted recently as part of Cathie Wood’s growing portfolio at ARK Invest. The stock has been hitting new all-time highs day after day for some time now, and analysts are starting to take notice. Snap hosted its first analyst day on Tuesday, and many firms weighed in on where they think the stock is going from here.

BofA Securities reiterated a Buy rating and issued a price objective of $70. The brokerage firm was not as positive as other analysts were but it was still fairly positive on the stock and the outlook from here.

BofA Securities noted this in its report:

Our key takeaways are: 1) Snap continues to build an impressive product suite around core camera & communications, 2) big AR (Augmented Reality) focus which could be a large differentiator for Snap and a multi-billion advertising opportunity, and 3) bullish growth outlook suggests strong current user momentum and traction with advertisers.

According to BofA Securities, Snap’s presentation highlighted strength in the 13 to 24 year old demographic and expansion beyond five key countries (United States, France, United Kingdom, Belgium, Australia) with over 90% penetration. The company has expanded to 35 languages and has made material improvement on Android, driving rapid adoption in non-Western countries such as India (150% user growth).

In terms of advertising, Snap has significantly improved its self-serve platform (through Snap ads manager) and shifted from 90% managed ads to 90% self-serve ads over the past few years. Snap has developed one of the best ad ranking systems in the industry and, as new advertisers get on the platform, it should be able to increase both cost per mille (CPM) and return on investment (ROI) in parallel (due to better optimization and improved relevancy). As a result, CPMs for ad inventory rose 41% in the fourth quarter while cost per purchase decreased 11% over the same period.

Separately, augmented reality is expected to be a big revenue driver, brands that partnered with Snap for virtual try-on experiences had a 2.4-times increase in clicks to purchase. The BofA Securities take is that with an improved self-serve platform, Snap appears well positioned to materially grow its base of advertisers and ultimately bridge the average revenue per user (ARPU) gap with Twitter and Facebook. The brokerage firm also expects growth in Western markets to be driven primarily by ARPU.

Here’s what some other analysts had to say:

  • Canaccord Genuity reiterated its Hold rating.
  • Jefferies reiterated a Buy rating and raised its price target to $85 from $61.
  • Cowen reiterated it as Outperform and raised its price target to $86 from $70.
  • Credit Suisse reiterated it as Outperform and raised its target from $65 to $80.
  • KeyCorp reiterated an Overweight rating and raised its target to $87 from $63.
  • Oppenheimer reiterated it as Outperform and raised its price target to $82 from $70.
  • Rosenblatt Securities reiterated it as a Buy and raised its $70 target to a street-high $100.
  • UBS Group reiterated a Buy rating and raised its target price to $85 from $70.
  • Piper Sandler reiterated it as Overweight and raised its price target to $83 from $66.
  • Pivotal Research reiterated it as Buy and raised its price target to $95 from $81.50.

Snap traded up about 2% on Wednesday to $71.60, in a 52-week range of $7.89 to $73.59. The consensus price target is $63.24.

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