Snap Stock Falls After Company Warns of Disruptions in 2021

Snap Stock Falls After Company Warns of Disruptions in 2021

Snap ‘s top and bottom lines for the fourth quarter blew past Wall Street expectations Thursday. But executives said 2021 will be a tumultuous year after a January interruption in ad spending and tech changes that Apple plans to implement.

Snap stock (ticker: SNAP) slid 7.7% in the extended session. Shares retreated 1.6% during regular trading to close at $58.31.

Snap reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $113.1 million, which amounts to eight cents a share, compared with a loss of $240.7 million, or 17 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted for stock compensation, among other things, earnings were nine cents a share. Wall Street had expected adjusted earnings of seven cents a share.

The company reported sales grew 62% to $911.3 million from $560.9 million a year ago. The consensus revenue estimate was $856.1 million.

“We delivered our first full year of adjusted Ebitda profitability and, as we look toward the future, we’re excited to build on our investments in augmented reality, mapping, and content to drive our ongoing growth,” CEO Evan Spiegel said.

Ebitda—earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization—is a non-GAAP measure of profitability.

In prepared remarks, executives attributed the gains to the company’s growth outside of the U.S., and the improvements it has made to its advertising tech. Chief Business Officer Jeremi Gorman said that direct-response advertising had remained steady throughout the year.

Snap’s daily member count rose to 265 million, well above the consensus prediction of 257.9 million.

The coming quarter, however, may be more of a challenge. In prepared remarks, Chief Financial Officer Derek Anderson said that Snap experienced “a period of interruption” in the first two weeks of January because of the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol. An undisclosed number of brands paused advertising during that period.

Similar to Facebook ‘s (FB) guidance, Anderson warned Snap investors of a coming tech change to Apple’s (AAPL) mobile operating system that could hurt ad targeting. Anderson said that it wasn’t clear what impact the tech changes will have in the longer run.

Apple has said its adjustment will help protect the privacy of customers, an argument that Facebook has said isn’t genuine.

Despite the setbacks early in the year, Spiegel said that Snap expects to make additional progress on profitability, and boost revenue by more than 46%, the amount Snap grew full-year sales last year.

The company expects first-quarter sales of $720 million to $740 million. Analysts modeled an adjusted first-quarter loss of two cents a share on sales of $705.1 million.