Snap reported quarterly financial results for its first time as a public company on Wednesday, posting revenue that missed estimates and slower-than-expected user growth.
Shares plummeted more than 20 percent on Thursday. The company spent $2 billion on stock-based compensation expenses after its initial public offering, widening net losses for the quarter to $2.2 billion.
CEO Evan Spiegel got a $750 million bonus for taking Snap public. He told analysts on a conference call that the company was focused on improving quality for users during the first quarter, especially for those with Android mobile phones.
Despite the steep loss during the quarter, Snap is "still in investment mode," the company's chief financial officer, Drew Vollero, said on a conference call with analysts.
- Revenue: $150 million reported vs. $158 million expected by a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate.
- Global DAUs: 166 million reported vs. 167.3 million expected by StreetAccount.
- ARPU: 90 cents reported vs. 90 cents per share expected by StreetAccount.
- Loss of $2.31 a share including compensation expenses.
- Analysts at Thomson Reuters estimate an adjusted loss of 20 cents per share, wider than the 19 cents expected.
That's compared with revenue of $38.8 million in the year-ago period.
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Amid trouble at Facebook and Google, unprofitable underdog Snapchat aims for engagement
As the company behind the viral ephemeral messaging app and Spectacles glasses, Snap's IPO was the biggest technology offering since Alibaba.
And it's growing at an extraordinary rate: Revenue rose 286 percent year over year in the first quarter. Daily active users rose 36 percent from the year-ago period, and average revenue per user grew 181 percent.
More than 3 billion Snaps were made daily in the first quarter, the company said, up from 2.5 billion in the third quarter of 2016. Users spent an average of 30 minutes a day on Snapchat, the company's chief strategist, Imran Khan, said on the conference call, and cited Nielsen data showing that many Snap users could not be reached by traditional TV channels.
Khan told CNBC.
"We made good progress this quarter improving the performance and quality of our Snapchat application, especially on Android, which has helped result in increased net user adds and engagement. We still have a lot of work to do, and are excited about the potential from continued performance improvements."
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Spiegel said that automation will help the company make more money for advertisers.
"People are going to copy your product if you build great stuff. Just because Yahoo has a search box doesn't make it Google."
Facebook, in particular, has pushed aggressively into Snap's turf. Boss Mark Zuckerberg told analysts that Instagram Stories has 200 million daily active users, and WhatsApp Status has more than 175 million daily active users.
As a whole, Facebook has 1.28 billion daily active users, nearly eight times as many as Snapchat.
Other revenue sources, like Spectacles, have hardly made a dent in the company's business. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect Snap to post a per-share loss through the end of 2018.
Snap has not made great gains in the markets, trading mostly below the high of $29.44 in its first week of trading. Indeed, the stock fell as low as $17.07 after hours, just 7 cents above its IPO price, as shares changed hands in heavy volume.
When Facebook, Yelp, Twitter and LinkedIn reported their first quarterly results as public companies, the stocks fell by an average 14.1 percent the next day, according to Jim Strugger, derivatives strategist at MKM Partners.
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Snap should have set its expectations lower, Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities, told CNBC's "Closing Bell" on Wednesday. He explained that a company's first earnings report as a public company is "really dependent" on executives giving realistic guidance. But that's just part of the growing pains of becoming a public company, Hogan said.
COMMENTARY: I won't lie to you, I am not a fan of startups with unproven or unsustainable business models and no evidence of profitability. In my opinion, Snap Inc has many similarities to Twitter: 1) user growth slowing down at time of IPO filing, 2) lack of profitability and 3) small market focus (primarily Millennials). Snaps has positioned itself as a "camera app" that allows Millennials, its core user demographics, to share photos that automatically disappear.
In a blog post dated October 10, 2016, I commented on Snap Inc's proposed $25 billion IPO. Like Twitter before it, I had a lot of reservations about the Snap IPO, because there were already strong signs that user growth was slowing down, and many analysts like myself, felt that Snap's business model, which depended almost entirely on advertising, was unsustainable. Furthermore, Snap derived the majority of its ad revenue from the U.S., so in order to sustain growth, this required expanding its user base internationally.
Snap is very slow in providing advertisers with the tools they need to target potential customers, and this is the same thing that plagued Twitter's ad revenue growth. On May 4, 2017, Snap announced a suite of tools to help advertisers market to its users more effectively. If you ask me, they should've done this much sooner.
For those of you who like reading the minutes of Snap Inc's Q1 2017 earnings conference call with investors, you will find it all below:
Snapchat is opening itself up to advertisers of all sizes with new buying tools
According to an announcement on May 4, 2017, starting this June, Snap is going a step further by flinging wide its gates to advertisers of all sizes and budgets with a new suite of self-service tools. The move could help considerably grow Snap's fledgling ad business, which is expected to reach $1 billion in revenue this year.
Releasing a self-service ads manager is intended to erase any friction that may be keeping advertisers off Snapchat, a company spokesperson told Business Insider. Snap expects larger buyers to still go through one of its auction partners, which offer more custom targeting like timing ads to run alongside TV campaigns or during specific weather conditions.
Snapchat's new ads manager will let any advertiser buy, manage, and view reporting for their campaigns. All ad formats, including app install ads, sponsored geofilters, and fullscreen video, are available alongside existing targeting capabilities like goal-based bidding. The manager is free to use and requires no minimum ad spend.
A new mobile dashboard will also allow marketers to see their ads like a normal user, view analytics, and get notification updates about their campaigns directly from the Snapchat app. Over 20 brands are testing these new tools now as part of a private beta, and Snap plans to make them available to everyone in June.
Below is the Snap Inc Q1 2017 Earnings Report Press Release:
Courtesy of an article dated March 13, 2017 appearing in MedaPost MoBlog, an article dated May 10, 2017 appearing in MediaPost Social Media & Marketing Daily, an article dated May 11, 2017 appearing in CNBC and an article dated May 4, 2017 appearing in Business Insider