Technology

Snap shares fall over 25% on revenue miss, no fourth-quarter outlook


Shares in Snap Inc. dropped by over a quarter of their value in late trading after the company missed on revenue and declined once again to give an outlook in its latest earnings report.

For the quarter that ended Sept. 30, Snap reported a profit before costs such as stock compensation of eight cents per share, down from 17 cents in the same quarter of 2021. Revenue rose just 6%, to $1.128 billion. Analysts had been expecting a loss of one cent per share on revenue of $1.14 billion.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization came in at $72.6 million, down 58% from a year ago but notably up from $7.19 million in the previous quarter. Free cash flow fell 65% year-over-year, to $18.1 million, with Snap reporting a net loss in the quarter of $359.5 million, up fivefold from a year ago.

Snap’s loss was partly attributed to a $155 million restructuring charge, compared with a similar charge of $72 million in the prior year. The restructuring charges include the cost of layoffs that Snap was first reported to be undertaking in August. The first of those layoffs, expected to total 20% of the company’s workforce, was on Snap’s Web3 team Sept. 2.

Although the messaging app may be increasingly bleeding money, not all the numbers were bad news. The number of Snapchat daily active users increased 19% year-over-year, to 363 million. The number was also significantly higher than the 347 million DAUs in the previous quarter. Analysts had been predicting 358.2 million.

Other highlights in the quarter included the average time spent watching Snapchat Spotlight content growing 55% year-over-year. Surprisingly, given its reputation as a youth-oriented service, Snapchat is increasingly becoming popular in older age groups, with those 35 and over watching shows and publisher content increasing 40%.

Snap’s premium subscription service, Snapchat+, hit 1.5 million paying subscribers in the quarter and is now available in more than 170 countries.

“This quarter we took action to further focus our business on our three strategic priorities: growing our community and deepening their engagement with our products, reaccelerating and diversifying our revenue growth and investing in augmented reality,” Snap Chief Executive Officer Evan Spiegel said in a statement. The growth of the community, he added, “continues to expand our long-term opportunity as we navigate this volatile macroeconomic environment.”

For the second quarter in a row, Snap once again declined to give an outlook, blaming “uncertainties related to the operating environment.”

Along with its earnings, Snap also announced that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan of up to $500 million of its Class A common stock. The program will see Snap make stock purchases on a discretionary basis from time to time, either through open market transactions or through privately negotiated deals.

The miss on revenue was small. For most big listed companies, missing by $12 million is hardly the end of the world, but coupled with increasing net losses and a failure to give an outlook, investors were not impressed. Snap shares were falling nearly 27% after-hours.

Photo: Unsplash

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