Why Did Snap Short Interest Plunge?

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Since climbing back to a recent high of $16.45 earlier this month, shares of Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) have dropped about 9.8% to close on Wednesday at $14.84. Shares traded recovered a bit early in Thursday’s session.

For the two-week short-interest reporting period that ended December 15, the number of shares short in Snap dropped by 11.3% (more than 14 million) to 110.23 million, representing over 28% of the stock’s total float. At an average trading volume of around 23 million shares a day, days to cover have settled at four.

Snap’s stock price has dropped around 38% for the year to date and CEO Evan Spiegel made our list of the worst CEOs of 2017. Not only that, but due to the company’s dual-stock issuance, Spiegel can’t be removed without severe upheaval that won’t do shareholder value much good.

So why are short sellers bailing out? Given that the company can’t seem to insulate itself from copycats like Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) and the number of daily active users has stalled, it would seem that the stock could fall further.

Short sellers may have closed out early and could return this week following reports last week that Snap is losing its deal with CNN after just four months because the social media site — which confusingly bills itself as a camera company — simply can’t find a way to monetize its audience.

If Snap can’t find a way to make money for its advertisers, the company’s best remaining strategy is to find a buyer. Once the stock price drops below $10 a share, they may not be so hard to do.

Shares traded at $14.96 on last look, up fractionally on the day. The stock’s 52-week trading range is $11.28 to $29.44, and the 12-month consensus price target is $12.78. When Snap came public in March, the IPO price was $17.00.