Tuesday, July 04, 2017 by Ethan Huff
It hasn’t even been four months since Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, made its initial public offering (IPO), and there are already some serious financial troubles brewing for the social media giant. After seeing an initial climb to an all-time high of $27.09 on March 3, just one day after the company’s IPO, Snap’s stock value has since plunged by a whopping 37 percent.
Ever since its IPO, in fact, Snap has seen its stock value move progressively downward, and as a result its bank underwriters, including JPMorgan, have adopted a bearish outlook on the company. The biggest problem for Snapchat is that the company is having a difficult time keeping up with its competitors like Facebook and Instagram, both of which have adopted similar photo-sharing platforms that appear to be more popular among social media users.
Despite recently releasing a new feature known as the Spectacles camera, Snap hasn’t really seen any significant increases in its bottom line. This rough ride for Snap has generated a dim outlook for the company among investors, including executives and company insiders who might want to flee the questionable stock, but won’t be able to until their 150-day lockup period expires at the end of July.
Part of the problem for Snapchat is that it simply isn’t attracting enough new users to meet its company goals. Underwriter JPMorgan, which recently downgraded its price target for Snap by 10 percent from $20 to $18, estimates that only about eight million new users will join Snapchat in the second quarter of 2017. This is down from an earlier estimate of 10 million new users during the same period.
This means that Snap is now not expected to show any profit until 2020, despite its rollout of a new advertising service last year that seemed to be on the up and up. Most of this service’s growth, however, was centered around the Olympics and the U.S. election, both of which are one-time events that won’t happen again for another three-plus years – and there’s nothing this year in the pipeline to replace them.
Meanwhile, revenue estimates for the recently debuted Snapchat Spectacle product have been cut nearly in half from $119 million in 2017 to just $56 million. So Snapchat really doesn’t have anything left going for it in the foreseeable future that would drive back up its stock price to reassure investors.
On the other hand, shares of Snap did bounce up slightly after the company’s recent announcement of a new agreement with Time Warner to produce an original television series based on the service. Reports indicate that the stock value for Snap increased by nearly three percent following the announcement of the $100 million deal.
This partnership with Time Warner is critical for Snap as it seeks to regain a strong footing in the tech market. It also follows the trend of other tech companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Apple that are all competing for their own original shows as well.
“Snap typically broadcasts one show a day in its app under a ‘Shows’ header,” reports Business Insider. “They are all five to 10 minutes and made in participation with networks like NBC, ABC, BBC, A&E, Discovery, Vice, and others. Shows have collectively drawn ‘audiences of over 8 million,” Snap C.E.O. Evan Spiegel said during the company’s latest earnings call.”
Snap is hoping to have two to three shows air in its app every single day by the end of 2017. It remains to be seen if this will generate the buzz needed to give Snap the critical boost it needs to stay afloat.