The stock has fallen more than 30% so far this year, as concerns about Snap's future growth, profitability and rivalry with Facebook Inc.'s (FB - Get Report) Instagram have given Wall Street a lot to worry about in recent months. In May, Snap reported its first earnings as a public company and missed on all three of its most important metrics -- earnings, revenue and user growth -- which did little to reassure nervous investors.
Snap's shares hit an all-time high of $29.44 on March 3, the day after its IPO, but its stock has fallen steadily ever since.
But not everyone on Wall Street is losing hope. In a note to clients on Monday, Credit Suisse analyst Stephen Ju said shares of the Snapchat parent company will likely remain under pressure for the next few months, but some of its long-term headwinds could be diminishing thanks to a range of new advertising products. Ju cut cut his price target on Snap to $25 from $30 because of some of those shorter-term concerns.
"While we were hoping for Snap to exhibit a more comfortable growth path, we are reminded that nascent companies sometimes grow in fits and starts, as we decrease our [average revenue per user] assumptions for 2Q17 and beyond as the self-service platform for advertisers saw a delayed launch in June," Ju wrote.
Despite that, advertisers still appear to be flocking to the platform. Ju spoke with brands that advertise on Snap who said they're drawn to the platform's access to younger users and "improving return on investment/measurability." That bodes well for Snap, as advertising is the company's main revenue source. In its most recent quarter, about $129 million of Snap's total $149.6 million in revenue came from advertising.
Snap has rolled out several new ad products over the past several months, including Snap to Store advertisements, which allow for measurement of which ads are driving in-store traffic; its self-serve Ad Manager, which lets brands buy and track ads; and Snap Publisher, a feature that lets brands create and edit their own vertical video ads. The company also acquired Placed, a location analytics company, that will help Snap beef up its Snap to Store product, among other things.
Other deals, such as Snap's purchase of Zenly for $200 million in late March, could have indirect benefits for advertisers. Snap likely used the Zenly acquisition to build out its Snap Map product, which was released in late June and lets users share their location with friends inside an interactive map. Snap Maps could become a crucial part of the online-to-offline integrated advertising ecosystem, said Oppenheimer analyst Jason Helfstein.
In short, Helfstein believes brands could buy location tags within Snap Maps and create digital in-store coupons using QR codes, driving greater brand awareness among coveted younger demographics, as well as more in-store traffic.
All these new ad features will make it easier for brands to navigate the app and create their own ad campaigns, Ju noted. They should also help the company compete with Facebook and Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL - Get Report) , who dominate online advertising, he noted.
"Opening the API to partners in January should increasingly remove friction for advertisers as partners can run the campaigns through a dashboard," Ju explained. "...The roll out of the self service platform in June should drastically increase the potential advertiser funnel while opening up the potential for [direct response] dollars to start making its way to the platform."