Snap Inc. investors are looking to a new management "wildcard" and Snapchat's retooled redesign to provide a rare source of optimism and keep the floundering stock from mirroring selloffs suffered by its social media peers -- or from reliving its own earnings-fueled nosedives.
Less than two weeks ago, Facebook shares plummeted by more than 20 percent after its average daily visitors missed analyst projections. Twitter followed suit, as continued monetization was overshadowed by concerns about monthly active users. The selloffs look familiar to investors in Snap, which has lost more than 20 percent on the days after its earnings reports on two occasions in the year since going public. This quarter, shares may turn on whether Snap can surpass about 193 million daily active users—the average of seven analyst estimates obtained by Bloomberg News.
"We believe the market has trained itself to approach each quarterly result with a heavy dose of caution as Snap remains a 'show me stock,'" Monness Crespi Hardt analyst Brian White wrote in a note. In five quarterly reports since Snap's March 2017 initial public offering, shares responded positively just once.
Short interest comprises more than a quarter of Snap's public float, near a 52-week high, according to Markit Securities Finance. Snap has underperformed its social media peers this year despite their recent selloffs.
An underwhelming daily active user count could support the bear narrative that Facebook's Instagram is increasingly winning audience share, Evercore ISI analyst Anthony DiClemente wrote in a note. But he also flagged a "wildcard" in new CFO Tim Stone, who Snap hired from Amazon in June. The market could respond positively if Stone outlines a long-term path to profitability. Usage trends could provide some bullish news after Snap undid much of its unpopular redesign, Wells Fargo analyst Peter Stabler wrote in a note.
Just the Numbers
Second-quarter daily active users are estimated at 193 million, based on the average of seven estimates obtained by Bloomberg News. Second-quarter revenue is estimated at $249.8 million, with a range of estimates from $234 million to $265 million.
-- Bloomberg News