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Snap earnings: Revenue disappoints, stock crashes

Daniel Howley
Technology Editor

Snapchat parent company Snap (SNAP) reported its Q4 2019 earnings after the bell on Tuesday, missing Wall Street's expectations on revenue. The latest report follows a string of strong quarters from the company as it turned around user growth numbers throughout 2019.

These are the most important numbers from the report, as well as how they compare to analysts' expectations as compiled by Bloomberg:

  • Revenue: $561 million versus $562.9 million expected.

  • Adjusted earnings per share: $0.03 versus $0.01 expected.

  • Daily active users: 218 million versus 214 million expected.

The stock was down 13% after the report.

The increase in daily active users is especially important for Snap, which saw declines in the metric in 2018. That, however, began to change as the company introduced more augmented reality filters, and a rebuilt version of its Android app.

A banner for Snap Inc. hangs from the front of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, March 2, 2017, in New York. The company behind the popular messaging app Snapchat is expected to start trading Thursday after a better-than-expected stock offering. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Snap also debuted what it calls Instant Create in July, which allows for advertisers to more easily create ad campaigns on Snapchat. Then there was Snap Select, which helped advertisers embed their ads into Snapchat's premium shows on Snapchat Discover.

The app’s Discover section performed particularly well in Q4, with daily time spent by users watching content increasing by a whopping 35% year-over-year. The daily time spent by users over the age of 25 who watch Discover also saw impressive growth, increasing by 60% year-over-year.

Snap, however, has begun to face increased competition from the rise of TikTok, which is especially popular among the Gen. Z set, which could prove problematic in the quarters to come. TikTok, however, is also facing problems of its own thanks to regulators who believe the app could be used by the Chinese to spy on users.

Over the last 12 months, Snap's stock price has been on a tear, rising as much as 173%, and easily outpacing the broader S&P 500, which was up 21%. The last 6 months, however, have been decidedly more volatile for the stock, with its price rising 15% compared to the S&P, which rose 16%.

Snap was trading at $18.48 at the start of trading on Tuesday, with a market cap of $26 billion.

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