Snap (SNAP) beat quarterly earnings expectations for the first time in its brief life as a public company, and investors rewarded its stock generously.
Shares of Snapchat parent company were soaring more than 20% in after-hours trading on Tuesday after the company announced fourth-quarter earnings per share of -$0.13 adjusted compared to estimates of -$0.16 adjusted, and revenues of $285.7 million, compared to consensus estimates of $253 million. For the quarter, Snap lost $350 million compared to $440 million in the third quarter.
Here are the top takeaways from the earnings report (Snap will hold a call with investors at 5 p.m. ET)
- Considering what Snap's last two quarters looked like, not to mention how well Facebook (FB) continues to execute, the company's Q4 top-line performance was pretty impressive. Revenue growth accelerated to 72% from Q3's 62% during a seasonally big quarter, and average revenue per user (ARPU) rose 46% to $1.53, easily beating a $1.36 consensus.
- The numbers point to growing advertiser adoption for the company's core Snap Ads product (video ads that run against Snapchat Stories). One possibility: Rising Facebook ad prices might be convincing advertisers to spend a little more on other social platforms.
- Daily active users (DAUs) were also a little better than expected. After rising by just 4.5 million sequentially in Q3, they grew by 8.9 million in Q4 to 187 million, topping consensus estimates by 3 million. The recent overhaul of the Snapchat app may have provided a boost.
- DAU growth was pretty evenly split between North America, Europe and the rest of the world. North America still accounts for over three-quarters of Snap's revenue, even though it now only accounts for 43% of DAUs.
- Though revenue and EPS beat estimates, free cash flow was still negative $197.3 million, worse than the year-ago period's negative $188.1 million. While Snap still has $2 billion in the bank to help it absorb future cash burn, the fact that the company (unlike Facebook) relies on Google and Amazon's cloud infrastructures to host its content continues weighing heavily on its cost structure.