Snap (SNAP) Raised to “Strong-Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Snap (NYSE:SNAP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report issued on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. The firm presently has a $14.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price suggests a potential upside of 22.27% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Snap continues to witness growth in user engagement as average time spent on the platform has improved to more than 30 minutes/day. The latest announcements of Snap games, Snap Originals, AR and camera search features are expected to attract users. These are expected to eventually attract advertisements, the primary source of revenues for Snap. Moreover, extended partnerships with Comcast and Viacom related to new content production may expand audience base and drive the top line. Further, Snap expects its user base to increase in 2019, driven by initiatives to attract users above 35 years and the launch of the new Android design that is currently in beta. Notably, the company has positive record of earnings surprise in the recent quarters. Also, estimates have been stable over the past seven days, ahead of its Q1 earnings release. However, shares have significantly underperformed the industry over the past year.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on SNAP. BTIG Research upgraded Snap from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, December 20th. ValuEngine cut Snap from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, January 4th. Goldman Sachs Group cut Snap from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their price objective for the company from $10.00 to $6.00 in a report on Friday, January 4th. Pivotal Research cut Snap from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and cut their price objective for the company from $8.00 to $6.00 in a report on Monday, January 7th. Finally, Cowen upgraded Snap from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $6.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Thursday, January 10th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-four have assigned a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $9.53.

SNAP traded down $0.30 during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $11.45. 854,319 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 27,019,627. Snap has a one year low of $4.82 and a one year high of $15.96. The stock has a market cap of $15.34 billion, a P/E ratio of -11.80 and a beta of 1.18.

Snap (NYSE:SNAP) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, February 5th. The company reported ($0.04) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.19) by $0.15. Snap had a negative return on equity of 46.90% and a negative net margin of 106.39%. The firm had revenue of $389.82 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $378.90 million. During the same quarter last year, the business earned ($0.13) earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 36.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts expect that Snap will post -0.68 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CFO Lara Sweet sold 22,818 shares of Snap stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, April 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $12.00, for a total value of $273,816.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 642,690 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,712,280. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Jeremi Gorman sold 80,278 shares of Snap stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $9.25, for a total value of $742,571.50. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 3,179,781 shares in the company, valued at approximately $29,412,974.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 6,450,999 shares of company stock worth $64,328,947.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Valmark Advisers Inc. lifted its position in shares of Snap by 64.7% during the 4th quarter. Valmark Advisers Inc. now owns 18,543 shares of the company’s stock worth $102,000 after buying an additional 7,285 shares during the last quarter. Wedbush Securities Inc. acquired a new position in Snap in the 4th quarter worth about $55,000. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in Snap by 4.5% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 4,810,361 shares of the company’s stock worth $26,505,000 after purchasing an additional 208,932 shares in the last quarter. Ffcm LLC acquired a new position in Snap in the 4th quarter worth about $92,000. Finally, Edge Wealth Management LLC increased its holdings in Snap by 1,173.7% in the 4th quarter. Edge Wealth Management LLC now owns 5,426 shares of the company’s stock worth $30,000 after purchasing an additional 5,000 shares in the last quarter. 23.31% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Snap

Snap Inc operates as a camera company in the United States and internationally. The company offers Snapchat, a camera application that helps people to communicate through short videos and images. It also provides Camera, a tool to personalize and add context to Snaps; Friends Page that allows creating and watching stories, chatting with groups, making voice and video calls, and communicating through a range of contextual stickers and Bitmojis; and Discover that helps surfacing the stories and shows from publishers, creators, and the community, based on a user's subscriptions and interests.

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