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(ANALYSIS) Oh Snap! Is Snap’s Volatility Making Investors Wary?

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Snap recently released Q2 earnings, causing investors to panic, and continuing a pretty volatile stretch since their 2017 IPO. Debuting at $17 on March 2, 2017, the stock quickly rose to a high of $28.17 on March 6 of last year.

However, concerns over user growth, profitability, average revenue per user (not to mention Kylie Jenner’s $1.3B blow), have fueled investor skepticism, pushing Snap shares all the way down to $11.73, as of Aug. 21.

Q2 Earnings Highlights

  • Snap reported a sequential decline in daily active users (or DAU’s) for the first time ever—a big warning sign.
  • Snap’s DAU’s fell 1.5% from 191 million in Q1 to 188 million.
  • The DAU’s, however, rose 8% YoY (year-over-year) from 173 million in Q2 2017.
  • This decline in user growth was attributed to the disruption caused by Snap’s platform redesign—the same thing that set off Jenner’s tweet.

Earnings Review

Snap reported revenue of $262.3 million with a net loss of -$0.14 per share. This was higher compared to analyst revenue estimates of $249.8 million and earnings estimates of -$0.17.

Despite the revenue jump, Snap posted a loss of $353 million in Q2 and continues to burn through cash. Snap has raised $250 million from Saudi Prince Al-Waleed Talal for a 2.3% stake in the company.

Snap’s stock, however, rose 11% post earnings (before eventually falling again), due to revenue growth of 44% YoY, earnings beat and reduced losses.

Can Snap Monetize User Base?

One of the key challenges for Snap remains the monetization of its user base. North American users continue to drive user growth for Snap with over 100 million monthly active users.

To turn around its current trend, Snap will need to focus on improving average revenue per user over the next few quarters. Although Snap’s average revenue per user (or ARPU) rose 33% YoY to $1.4, it is still way below the ARPU for Twitter ($7.5) and Facebook ($20).

Snap’s ARPU in Rest of the World region rose 65% to $0.96 during Q2. Although the purchasing power in emerging countries continue to remain low, they provide a platform for a massive increase in DAU’s.

How Do Analysts View Snap?

Snap’s revenue is estimated to grow by 41% in 2018, 39% in 2019 and 40% in 2020. Its earnings per share (EPS) is estimated to improve 8.2% in 2018 and 25% in 2019.

Snap’s EPS is also estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 27.8% over the next five years. Despite this massive growth in revenue and earnings, analysts expect Snap to post an operating loss of 72% in 2018, 43% in 2019 and 21% in 2020.

Sure, there are many unprofitable tech companies that continue to burn cash as investors remain optimistic about growth prospects and the total available market. The major problem with Snap is it competes with established giants such as Twitter and Facebook.

There are 36 analysts covering Snap. 30.5% (or 11 analysts) recommend a “buy” while 50% recommend “hold” and 19% recommend a “sell”. The average 12-month target price for Snap is $11.83 which is 6% below its current price of $12.57.

Final Verdict

There are too many variables for analysts, making investors cautious to enter the stock at current levels. Snap needs to increase its ARPU, advertising revenue and user base significantly over the next few quarters to be viewed as a safe bet.

Entrepreneurs

[INFOGRAPHIC] How To Start (And Grow) Your Business With $10,000

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Today, starting a new business is easier than ever. With Fiverr, Upwork and social media, you can get started in a weekend—and for very little money.

(What you’re reading right now was created in a week, by the way…)

But if you actually have a little nest egg saved up?!

Awww, man, you are off to the races! SO without further ado, here’s how you can kickstart—and grow—your business with $10,000, courtesy of this oh-so-pretty Infographic from Intuit.

Source: [Intuit]

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Entrepreneurs

VIDEO: Warren Buffet Bets Big On These Traits To Become Rich

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With a net worth that crosses a whopping $100B, it’s hard to question Warren Buffett’s investment moves. Here are the traits that the super investor believes can get one to be financially independent and significantly rich.

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Entrepreneurs

[Q&A] This Entrepreneur Founded A $50B+ Company—And Then Helped Startups Raise Money From The Crowd

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Howard Marks is one of the most influential entrepreneurs in the modern, digital age, a rare founder who’s actually innovated before said innovation truly mainstream.

And not just once, but twice.

As founder of Activision, Howard helped kick off a gaming bonanza that’s become a worldwide pop culture phenomenon, birthing an entire new industry known as eSports.

Largely driven by Fortnite—a gaming franchise owned by Activision—eSports is expected to top $1.1B this year in global revenues, according to Forbes. Today, Activision is worth over $54B, trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

(In fact, had you invested $10K in Howard’s IPO, your investment today would be worth well over $700K.)

JOBS Act IPO revolution

Later on, as founder of Startengine, Howard helped kickstart the equity crowdfunding trend, opening an avenue for early-stage startups to raise money and redefine public offerings.

Back in 2012, President Obama signed off on the JOBS Act, allowing companies to go public, taking investments from non-accredited investors (essentially anyone without a net worth of $1M), without having to go through the tedious process of listing on New York Stock Exchange.

As head of Startengine, Howard’s built one of the market leaders in the equity crowdfunding space, with $43.72M in total investments in 2019 alone. 

More recently, StartEngine made a coup, joining forces with one of the most influential investors in the form of Shark Tank’s “Mr. Wonderful” Kevin O’Leary, as reported by Crowdfund Insider.

Crowdfund Insider, the online authority for all things crowdfunding, recently did an exclusive Q&A with Howard, touching on the new deal with Mr. Wonderful, his business and the future of crowdfunding.

Here’s what he had to say.


Challenges of crowdfunding…

One of the biggest challenges we face as a company is that equity crowdfunding is not well understood by the general public. If you walk down the street and ask a stranger if they know what equity crowdfunding is, odds are they say they’ve never heard of it before.

Doing a deal with Mr. Wonderful…

Over the past few years, we’ve had several Shark Tank alumni raise capital on StartEngine, and we eventually got connected to Kevin. When we learned that he had been following the equity crowdfunding space for a few years and wanted to help inform others about the opportunities for raising capital using equity crowdfunding, it was an easy decision to form a partnership with him.

Mr. Wonderful’s role…

Kevin O’Leary is StartEngine’s strategic advisor and a StartEngine shareholder. His focus will be on creating more awareness about StartEngine and equity crowdfunding in general. Kevin believes in the equity crowdfunding model and our business and is helping to spread the word. He is even encouraging the companies in his own portfolio to use StartEngine for their next funding round.

Deal flow during the COVID-19…

Our entire team is operating remotely and staying safe during the pandemic, and our business itself is thriving. We’ve seen a good increase over the last 30 days in the companies applying to raise on StartEngine.

From both the company and investor side, StartEngine’s business has proven to be resilient to the uncertainty caused by COVID-19.

On the SEC and raising the cap for what startups can raise…

We support the changes wholeheartedly. It’s clear that $1.07M is too low a ceiling for Regulation Crowdfunding [Reg CF], given the average size of seed funding rounds today, and it’s time that we increase the limit to help small businesses achieve their goals.

In fact, we encouraged all 10,000+ of our shareholders to write letters to the SEC a month ago to encourage them to increase the limit of Regulation Crowdfunding from $1.07M to $5M to help small businesses today when they desperately need access to capital.

Accredited investors vs. non-accredited investors…

Howard Marks: Our business, and the business of equity crowdfunding, is bringing investment opportunities to non-accredited investors. We do not focus on accredited investors. An expanded definition may encourage those new accredited investors to feel more confident making investments on our platform, as well as increase the amount they can invest in a given year, which would be beneficial to the investing space. However, I don’t believe this would have a large impact on equity crowdfunding.

On changes he wants to see…

Howard Marks: The change we are most excited about at StartEngine is the proposal to increase the limit of Regulation Crowdfunding from $1.07M to $5M. Of all of the proposed changes, I believe that one will have the biggest impact for small businesses and will encourage more entrepreneurs to turn to equity crowdfunding.

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