Snap Inc. (SNAP) CEO Evan Spiegel has reportedly set a goal of breaking even by the end of this year after struggling to grow users and adequately monetize the app in the year since its IPO. But some analysts think Spiegel may have set his sights too high.
Spiegel sent a note to employees several months ago in which he laid out his goal to break even in 2018, The Information reported.
GBH analyst Daniel Ives said that it's possible this announcement was meant to give employees "more insight into the strategic direction of the company" and contextualize future moves. Snap confirmed this week that it was laying off 120 software engineers in its biggest wave of job cuts ever.
While it is good for the company to move toward profitability, Ives said Spiegel's goal of year-end profitability would be an "Everest-like uphill challenge" for the company. Snap lost $3.4 billion in 2017, with a significant amount of those losses coming from compensation-related costs.
"I don't see [profitability] happening for another 18 to 24 months," Ives said.
Ives said that such an aggressive push toward profitability would be irresponsible for a company that is still working to monetize and grow its user base.
"That is not what I would call a smart strategic decision," Ives said.
Needham analyst Laura Martin disagreed, saying that the news suggests "a rapidly maturing CEO who is financially responsible," and that if the company breaks even by the end of 2018, Snap's cash reserves will last longer.
As to whether Spiegel's goal is even possible, "if Evan wants it to be so, it can be so," Martin said.