When Snap, the parent company of social app Snapchat, made its IPO on March 2, it had a banner day. When the stock market opened, Snap shares were already trading higher than their IPO price of $17 per share. It closed the day at $24.48 per share and made its founders billionaires.
But even back then, there was excitement and concern about Snap’s future value. Now, it looks like those bearish voices have proven accurate.
On July 10, Snap shares closed the day at $16.96, and as of 4 p.m. ET on July 11, they were trading at $15.47.
Second, there’s the company’s slow user base growth. It added only 8 million new daily active users during the quarter. Nomura Instinet Analyst Anthony DiClemente said that third-party app download data suggests that Snapchat’s daily active user growth will continue to be anemic.
Third, there’s competition from established players. Instagram’s usership is continuing to grow. “Instagram’s strategy of replicating key aspects of Snap’s use case is bearing fruit, limiting Snap’s ability to attract new users,” DeClemente said. Facebook has also launched copycat features in Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, and in Facebook itself.
In light of these developments, Snap’s feature additions, including a map that lets users see where their friends are all over the world (which could create synergy with location-based advertising company Snap bought in early July), plus the ability to remove objects from photos and add pre-programmed backgrounds, have not impressed investors.
In response, Credit Suisse lowered its price target form $30 to $25; and JPMorgan, an underwriter of the IPO, has been bearish since Snap’s debut on the exchange. In June, JPMorgan lowered its price target from $20 to $18, but maintained its neutral rating.
Snap executives and company insiders won’t be able to sell their shares until July 30, the end of a 150-day lockup period. If they decide to sell, they could flood the market with more Snap shares, which would almost certainly push the stock even lower.
Photo: A user installs the Snapchat app. Credit: dennizn / Shutterstock.com