Social media player Snap Inc (SNAP) is set to report earnings on Thursday after the market close. It's make or break time, now.
Wall Street analysts expect Snap to report a loss of 15 cents per share on revenue of $186.22 million. Analysts will also have their eye on Snapchat's daily active user count (DAU), which they expect to grow 9% from last quarter to $174.61 million. Snap stock has been destroyed since launching its IPO on March 2, with shares off by 45% and billions in market cap being wiped away.
With a current market cap of around $15.8 billion, Snap is one of the lowest-valued social media players in the stock market, as Twitter Inc (TWTR) is the only other major social media player that sells with a lower market cap, ($11.8 billion). Compare them both to Facebook Inc (FB) , which has a staggering market cap of $489 billion.
Recent activity in the options market is implying that Snap stock is likely to see a 15% one-day swing in either direction immediately following its earnings report. If Snap can produce a bullish report, then I think that move will be even greater since the stock is so beaten-down from its highs of over $29 a share.
I'm leaning bullish on SNAP heading into the report because the stock is so heavily shorted and an absolute favorite target of the bears. While bears have dominated Snap stock, it hasn't stopped Millennials from gobbling it up.
The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Snap is a whopping 37.9%. That means that out of the 188.32 million shares in the tradable float, 71.47 million shares are sold short by the bears. This is a monster short interest, and with a short interest ratio of 3.6 days-to-cover, we could see one the largest earnings short-squeezes on the year.
If you take a look at the chart for SNAP, you'll notice that this stock has been downtrending big over the last five months, with shares moving lower from around $29 to its recent new all-time low of $11.90 a share. During that downtrend, Snap stock has been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, some decent volume hit this stock when it tagged its new all-time low of $11.90, so the potential for a strong reversal in the overall chart pattern is there for SNAP if it can deliver with strong numbers.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Snap either before they report to anticipate, or after if this stock manages to break out above its 20-day moving average of $13.90 a share and then above $14.06 with strong volume. Look for volume on that move to hit near or above its three-month average action of 22.30 million shares. If that breakout triggers post-earnings, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at its 50-day moving average of $16.29 to $17, or even $18 to $20 a share.
The bottom line, if Snap reports a great quarter and maintains a move over the $14 level post-earnings, then the shorts are in big trouble and we should see a squeeze of epic proportions. However, no sustained move over $14 post-earnings means the shorts are still in control and you should move along with the long ideas on SNAP.
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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.