(This article originally appeared at 10:00 a.m. ET on Real Money, our premium site for active traders, and has been updated to reflect Snap Inc.'s prospectus being filed. Click here to get great columns like this from Jim Cramer and other writers even earlier in the trading day.)
By all indications, Facebook (FB) - Get Report is crushing it in every single aspect of its business. But CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his fellow shareholders now must be prepared for the one thing that could soon cause the shares to correct.
That's none other than the initial public offering (IPO) of Snap Inc., the disappearing photo app maker with ambitions to also be a consumer-products giant as hinted in its newly filed prospectus on Thursday. The basic premise is as follows. Up until now, Action Alerts PLUS holding Facebook has been the only way for Wall Street to successfully play the rising importance of social media in our lives. Zuckerberg has moved lightening quick to move the Facebook user experience forward by implementing live video and better curating the newsfeed. Meanwhile, the innovation on Instagram has continued, too, with the recent addition of the stories function as a means to try and grab Snapchat users. Whereas Twitter (TWTR) - Get Report has failed at growing its user base and general relevance, Facebook has thrived.
Insane New Facebook Stats
- Market Cap: $390 billion
- Instagram: 400 million daily active users
- WhatsApp: Over 1.2 billion monthly users
And as a result, Wall Street has cheered all of Facebook's efforts, sending the stock up some 77% over the past two years. Twitter has crashed about 57% during that same time-span.
But now, the arrival of Snapchat soon to the public markets will cause money managers to make a tough decision. Cash out of proven growth story Facebook and pile into the unproven Snap Inc.? Or, sit back and watch Snap Inc. shares go berserk over the next two years while Facebook's tread water as it invests aggressively to support its future ambitions? To be sure, there is very little reason for managers to hold shares in both social media companies as in many respects, they have the exact same business models. If one were to hold onto both, it would create out-sized portfolio risk in one area of tech (aka one would be less diversified).
A test of this thesis could come now that Snap Inc. has filed. Although Snap Inc. racked up a $514.6 million loss in 2016, its revenue rose more than six times year over year to $404.5 million. Wall Street may give Snap a pass for its lack of profits as it's clearly funding its growth. Instead, the Street could focus on the fact Snap has been able to suck more revenue from its relatively unproven business model.
Meanwhile, Snap also showed off several impressive stats that will likely get everyone wondering if this a Facebook growth story just waiting to unfold:
- Over 158 million daily active users
- Over 2.5 billion snaps are created every day
- Daily active users visit Snapchat more than 18 times each day
- Average amount spent on Snapchat every day is 25 to 30 minutes
For now, it's OK to cheer Facebook's dominance, it's well-deserved. However, don't forget about what lies ahead.
Chart of the Day
Staying on the topic of potentially looming stock crashes, check out the ugly movement in the Dow Transports (dark blue line below) over the last several sessions. The easy scapegoat for the pullback in the transports against the backdrop of decent days for the broader market is weak earnings from UPS (UPS) - Get Report . But considering Trump Stimulus Trades in building materials such as Vulcan Materials (VMC) - Get Report and Eagle Materials (EXP) - Get Report have also retrenched (these are areas that had been leading the market post-election) there may be more behind the fresh move in the Dow Transports.
Count this writer as being in that camp. In addition to Trump showing he will be a loose cannon in office, a lack of color on new fiscal policies, likely upcoming hawkish Fed speeches and disastrous retail earnings, the broader market seems teed up for a brief downdraft this month.
Wake up transports, please? Source: Yahoo Finance
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Action Alerts PLUS, which Jim Cramer manages as a charitable trust, is long FB.