Snap beat expectations and sent its stock price skyrocketing-still minus profit

Michael Loccisano  Getty Images
Evan Spiegel

Michael Loccisano Getty Images Evan Spiegel

Snap earned a daily sentiment score of -0.04 on Accern's scale. "That's really where things are heading", said Snap CFO Drew Vollero during the company's earnings call on Tuesday.

Snap's flagship mobile app, Snapchat, added 8.9 million daily active users in the fourth quarter of 2017 ended December 31. Raymond James Financial reiterated an "underperform" rating on shares of Snap in a research report on Friday, January 12th.

Snap Inc.is adding tons of features to Snapchat to stay afloat amid competition from many other messaging apps. First Manhattan Co. now owns 7,631 shares of the company's stock valued at $110,000 after buying an additional 6,056 shares during the period.

"We executed well on our 2017 plan to improve quality, performance, and automation, which removed friction from our advertising business and improved our application for the Snapchat community", he said. It also aimed to entice more creators, like those on YouTube (and previously on Vine), to embrace the app as a platform.

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"Our business really came together towards the end of past year", said Evan Spiegel, Snap's chief executive, on a conference call on Tuesday evening. The additions come after Instagram released its anticipated "Type Mode", which gave users new fonts to play with.

Snap is still struggling massively to bring its revenue up to par with expenses.

Snap also said operating expenses for the first half of the year would increase by a "low double digits" percentage compared to the last half of 2017. Their quarterly revenue rose by 46%, to $285.6 million (which exceeds expectations by upwards of $32 million).

While Snap Ads generate the most revenue in total, Snapchat's Sponsored Lenses and Sponsored Filters - collectively called its Creative Tools - rake in more money per ad.

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Analysts are waiting to see whether the positive steps are, in fact, trends. "It could also be a great opportunity for marketers to reach and engage their audiences with well-targeted promoted content, while positively impacting Snapchat's bottom line".

The improved margin "shows that they can control costs of user acquisition and of providing service, and that should eventually lead to the leverage necessary to become profitable", analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities said. The business had revenue of $207.90 million during the quarter, compared to analysts' expectations of $236.71 million.

Snap rolled out a Do Not Disturb feature that allows Snapchat users to silence notifications from specific people and groups, keeping the muted parties in the dark.

Westpac Banking Corp boosted its position in Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) by 42.0% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

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Liu said that the company is making changes to the app due to pressure from Wall Street to grow its user base, but broadening the appeal - even Spiegel has admitted Snapchat is hard to figure out - could risk alienating its younger users.

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