Snap (SNAP) Lifted to Strong-Buy at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Snap (NYSE:SNAP) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report report published on Thursday morning, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $14.00 target price on the stock.

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.”

SNAP has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Royal Bank of Canada raised Snap from a sector perform rating to an outperform rating and raised their price target for the stock from $10.00 to $17.00 in a research note on Friday, April 5th. Citigroup raised Snap from a sell rating to a neutral rating and set a $7.00 price target for the company in a research note on Monday, January 14th. Goldman Sachs Group lowered Snap from a buy rating to a neutral rating and dropped their price target for the stock from $10.00 to $6.00 in a research note on Friday, January 4th. BTIG Research raised Snap from a sell rating to a neutral rating in a research note on Thursday, December 20th. Finally, Cowen raised Snap from an underperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $6.00 price target for the company in a research note on Thursday, January 10th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-four have given a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Snap has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $9.53.

Shares of Snap stock opened at $11.67 on Thursday. Snap has a 52-week low of $4.82 and a 52-week high of $15.96. The company has a market capitalization of $15.42 billion, a PE ratio of -12.03 and a beta of 1.18.

Snap (NYSE:SNAP) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 5th. The company reported ($0.04) EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates 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 company had revenue of $389.82 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $378.90 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted ($0.13) earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 36.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, research analysts forecast that Snap will post -0.68 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CEO Evan Spiegel sold 4,447,107 shares of Snap stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $9.98, for a total value of $44,382,127.86. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 74,450,661 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $743,017,596.78. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Jerry James Hunter sold 166,646 shares of Snap stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $9.24, for a total value of $1,539,809.04. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 1,793,593 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $16,572,799.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 6,643,476 shares of company stock valued at $66,573,374 in the last three months.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of SNAP. FNY Investment Advisers LLC raised its position in shares of Snap by 306.5% in the 4th quarter. FNY Investment Advisers LLC now owns 5,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $27,000 after purchasing an additional 3,770 shares during the last quarter. Edge Wealth Management LLC raised its position in shares of 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 during the last quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of Snap by 70.0% in the 1st quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 3,400 shares of the company’s stock worth $37,000 after purchasing an additional 1,400 shares during the last quarter. Atlas Capital Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Snap in the 4th quarter worth about $41,000. Finally, Wedbush Securities Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Snap in the 4th quarter worth about $55,000. 23.31% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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