Snapchat parent company Snap built a reputation for secrecy, but now, as a public company, it has to lay its cards on the table and open up the books to investors.
For the first time, Snap reported quarterly earnings Wednesday, posting revenue and user growth figures that came in well below Wall Street expectations. Its stock has dropped significantly as a result, and it is down more than 22 percent in after-hours trading.
Snap posted revenue of $149.65 million, up close to 300 percent over this time last year, and annual growth in the number of daily active users of 22 percent to 166 million users. Snap took a loss of $2.2 billion for the quarter, or adjusted losses of 20 cents per share, but the company said approximately $2 billion of that was due to stock-based compensation costs related to the company’s March IPO.
Analysts surveyed in advance by Yahoo Finance expected Snap to post losses of 19 cents per share on $157.98 million in revenue.
The first quarter quarter as a public company can often be a rough one, and CNBC notes social media giants Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and LinkedIn saw big stock drops following their first earnings. Each company saw their stock drop by approximately 10 percent or more the next day.
The key will be how Snap recovers going forward. Twitter never really made up for its initial crater, whereas Facebook stock trades at close to quadruple its $38 opening price.
Snap faces intense competition in the social media realm, with many companies building nearly identical versions to some of Snapchat’s most popular features, principally Stories. As part of its most recent earnings call, Facebook announced that the Stories clone Instagram Stories has piled up more than 200 million daily active users, a figure that outstrips Snapchat’s entire user base. Stories is a valuable feature for Snapchat because it lets brands buy and place ads in between posts within someone’s daily story.