Oh, Snap! Snap Inc. Snaps Back with 4Q Results

09 February, 2018, 03:26 | Author: Elaine Woods
  • Snap CEO Evan Spiegel

The silver lining in a hard 12-month period for Snap is that it continues to grow both users and revenue despite Facebook's ruthless attempts to demolish it. Facebook's copies have certainly hurt the company, but they have not killed it yet.

Users - the thing most investors care about - were also way up for Snapchat, with the company adding 9 million daily users to hit 187 million.

In an eye-popping surprise of an earnings announcement, Snap easily topped investor expectations for its fourth quarter revenue. The figure, boosted by surprising growth in user numbers and advertising revenue, exceeded analyst estimates of $253 million.

It marked the first time the Snapchat parent company beat analysts forecast since it went public last March.

"Our business really came together towards the end of previous year", chief executive officer Evan Spiegel said in a statement.

Along with some subtle stylistic tweaks, the biggest changes include the removal of the app's Stories page and a clear line between personal communications and media.

Snap scared investors past year when its ad prices plummeted as it shifted to an automated auction-based model. The company saw steady growth in North America at a faster rate than Facebook.

Image google finance
Image google finance

Snapchat faces stiff competition from Instagram, which has more than twice the daily users of Snapchat and threatened to stamp out Snapchat by copying features such as photo filters and disappearing slide shows.

Snap was not as forthcoming about after it was initially expected to launch in late 2017.

Taking what CEO Evan Spiegel called a real "risk", Snap unveiled Snapchat's highly anticipated redesign during the fourth quarter.

In other news, Director Mitchell Lasky sold 25,000 shares of Snap stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 30th. In the last quarter, Snap lost $443 million, up from the $124 million it lost in Q3 2016. He said he was "impressed" with the improving ad auction activity, although he noted that some of the Q4 strength may have been due to seasonality. The company said that after fixing those software bugs, customers were now staying longer on the Android version of its app. For starters, it will make its newest ad format, Promoted Stories, available to self-serve advertisers "in the coming week", said Snap Chief Strategy Officer Imran Khan on Tuesday.

"Compared to the old design, core metrics around content consumption and time spent in the redesigned application are disproportionately higher for users over the age of 35, which bodes well for increasing engagement among older users as we continue to grow our business", he said.

Despite a period of staff cutbacks plus misgivings over its recent redesign, Snap posted strong revenue and user increases in Q4 which proved popular with investors, with its leadership trumpeting its adtech investments as well as increased traction with both large and small advertisers.

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