Snap Inc. (NYSE:SNAP) Shares Bought by NN Investment Partners Holdings NV

Roger McNamee

Snap stock closed Thursday at $13.67, more than 44 percent below the $24.48 opening-day closing price for the stock back in early March. Revenue grew to $182 million, more than double the $72 million a year earlier but below analysts' expectations. The firm said average time spent per Snap user fell 32% sequentially.

Snap warned that its technology costs rose in the last part of the second quarter as users flocked to a new, data-intensive feature, Snap Maps.

CEO Evan Spiegel didn't address nagging questions about the threat from Facebook's Instagram app, which has been steadily knocking off Snapchat's key features, including its colorful camera filters and its "stories" function that builds photo and video montages. These notifications - which primarily appear in the Facebook app but can also be pushed to the phone's home screen - can conceivably keep people returning day after day. On average, equities analysts expect that Snap will post ($0.56) earnings per share for the current fiscal year. But the bulk of that growth came from North America, showing that the company can still expand in highly lucrative advertising markets like the United States. It now describes itself as "a camera company" and released its first piece of hardware, glasses with built-in cameras, last year. Finally, Nomura reissued a "sell" rating and issued a $28.00 price objective (up from $16.00) on shares of Snap in a research note on Thursday, May 11th. "We've historically been able to do business in markets that are highly competitive and saturated by our competitors".

It also is an indication that Snap's growth is slowing. Instead, it wants to add users in the most lucrative markets - such as the US - and get them more deeply addicted.

Snapchat counts 173 million users these days.

Shares of Snapchat's corporate parent plunged more than 17 percent in after-hours trading on Thursday, to about $11.40 per share, after the company reported a wider-than-expected loss on disappointing sales and user growth. This is over 6x Snap's total user adds over the first half of this year.

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On the other hand, Instagram "Stories" has garnered over 250 million MAUs, Instagram now has almost 700 million users globally.

Snap's stock fell as much as 17 percent to $11.40 a share in after-hours trading after it said revenue rose 153 percent to $182 million while net profit almost quadrupled to $443 million, or 16 cents a share.

Spiegel said that he and co-founder Bobby Murphy wouldn't sell any of their shares in Snap this year, saying they still believe in the company's long-term success.

"There's a lot of this thing in our industry called growth hacking, where you send a lot of push notifications to users or you try to get them to do things that might be unnatural or something like that", Spiegel told investors in May.

"However, if Facebook continues to shamelessly copy Snap's features and there is no clear road ahead for Snap to become net income or free cash flow positive, Mr. Spiegel's position may change", Seyrafi said.

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