Snap, the Snapchat parent, has had a very difficult ride in the stock market since debuting in March. After pricing its IPO at $17 and then reaching highs of $27, the company has fallen to less than half that. After losing 14 percent of its value in a single day’s trading, Snap closed Friday at $11.83.
The growing social media company revealed on Thursday that it has 173 million daily active users, up more than 20 percent since last year. But that wasn’t enough to impress Wall Street, which was expecting more than 175 million users.
Analyst expectations are always built into the stock price and missing them will cause shares to plummet. And Snap not only missed on user growth, but revenue and losses, as well.
The company brought in $181.7 million in revenue, a 153 percent increase from last year, but investors were expecting more than $186 million. But losses also increased substantially, $115.9 million for last year’s quarter versus $443.1 million for this year.
The success of Instagram Stories is one of the main reasons that investors are skeptical of Snap. Instagram copied its short-form video feature last year and has seen tremendous success. The Stories feature already has 250 million daily users, over 75 million more than Snap.
Snap also recently found out that it won’t be in the S&P 500, which is a significant blow because a lot of investors buy that index. And it looks like the company’s Spectacle glasses aren’t selling well.
The bull case for Snap is that the team has been innovative. The company popularized disappearing messages and came up with the stories idea. Snap also has been clever with its use of AI-enhanced face filters. But in order to survive as a public company, the team will have to come up with something that can’t be so easily replicated.
TechCrunch’s Josh Constine has a few ideas.