Snap Inc. (SNAP - Get Report) shares were active Wednesday after the instant messaging group posted a narrower-than-expected first quarter loss as revenues bloomed amid a drive to improve the performance of its signature Snapchat app on Android platforms.
Snap said its first quarter loss came in at 10 cents per share on an adjusted basis, a figure that was around 2 cents better than the consensus estimate. Revenue growth, however, was the catalyst for the pre-market gains, as sales rose 39% for a forecast-beating $320 million, a figure the company sees improving to as much as $360 million in the current quarter.
"This is the second consecutive quarter, where more than 100% of our incremental year-over-year revenue flowed through to our bottom line," co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel told investors on a conference call late Tuesday. "While these earlier results are promising improvements in performance and new user retention will take time to compound and meaningfully impact our top line metrics."
"There are billions of Android devices in the world that now have access to an improved Snapchat experience and we look forward to being able to grow our Snapchat community in new markets," he added.
Snap shares were marked 6.5% lower at the start of trading Wednesday, after rising by a similar percentage in pre-market, to change hands at $11.21 each, a move that would still leave the stock some 105% higher since the start of the year.
- TheStreet: Snap's Android App Comes Into Focus on its First-Quarter Earnings Call
- TheStreet: Snap Shares Crackle and Pop Following Q1 Earnings Beat
Daily active users on the group's key platform rose 2% from the previous quarter, thanks in part to the new Android development focus, to around 190 million thanks to renewed growth in international markets.
"Early results showed a modest increase in frequency of use for Snapchatters who have downloaded the rebuilt app, though this may take time to flow through to financials," said Canaccord Genuity's Maria Ripps, who boosted her price target on the stock to $13 a share following the earnings release. "The time lag between the current Android rollout and potential user and financial impact will be a key variable for the remainder of 2019."
Snap has impressed investors of late with plans to broaden the advertizing reach of its messaging platform to the 186 million people who use it each day, rolling out new games, photographic options and original content programming.
Last month, Snap's first-ever 'Partner Summit' in Los Angeles unveiled some of those changes, which it hopes will lengthen engagement times and lever value from the near 90% market share of 13 to 24 year olds it commands in the United States.
Snap is also seeing a rebound in sentiment following last weeks's IPOs of Pinterest PINS and Zoom Video Communications ZM, which valued the pair at more than $32 billion and triggered a wave of more than $50 billion in new listings as so-called 'Unicorn' start-ups tap bullish investor sentiment.
Snap, of course, has seen it owns fortunes wane since listing with much fanfare on March 2, 2017, with a first-trade price of $25 a share. Since then, the stock has tumbled amid uneven attempts by Spiegel to simultaneously boost the signature messaging app's appeal to older users while maintaining its zeitgeist among celebrity endorsers.