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Stock Analyst Update

Snap Shows Surprising Strength; Shares Fairly Valued

We’re increasing our fair value for Snap, but don’t see the no-moat firm as attractively priced today.


 Snap (SNAP) finally reported a strong quarter as a public company as revenue and the operating loss for the quarter beat both our internal estimate and consensus.While the firm’s daily average user count grew at only a single-digit rate sequentially, it was somewhat of an improvement from last quarter. Plus, Snap demonstrated its ability to further monetize its users, although we note that fourth quarter is usually a seasonally stronger quarter. 

With some improvement in user growth and further automation of sales of Snap ads, we think the firm is slowly making headway toward providing a scalable and easily measurable platform. However, given Snap’s continuing difficulty to further accelerate user growth, we remain convinced the firm lacks a network effect moat source.

After assuming a slightly faster gross margin expansion and rolling our model forward, we increased our valuation on Snap to $16 per share from $14. Snap shares began trading up around 20% in after-hour trading due to the surprisingly good fourth-quarter results. At current levels, we continue to view this no-moat and very high uncertainty name as fairly valued.

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Ali Mogharabi does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.