Snap Inc. (SNAP) shares may have recovered from the steep sell-off coming off the back of its first-quarter earnings report, but some investors and Wall Street watchers are bracing for more declines in the stock later in the summer.
That’s when the lockup expires on some 1.2 billion Snap shares, which JPMorgan recently estimated accounts for 84% of the shares outstanding. Insiders at the maker of a disappearing-message app have been prevented from selling the stock given to them in the initial public offering until late July or early August. Once that restriction is lifted, some think shares will decline, in part simply because of supply and demand.
A Dearth of 'Buy' Ratings
It doesn’t help that the social media company, which had a poor showing in the March-ending quarter, is facing a lot of negative commentary from Wall Street analysts and is seeing rising short interest. JPMorgan analyst Doug Anmuth highlighted the lockup expiration in a recent research note to clients and reiterated his neutral rating on the stock. What’s more, CNBC noted in a report that close to 70% of Wall Street analysts have not given Snap a buy rating. (See also: Which Hedge Funds Bought Snap Last Quarter?)
Late last week, the social media company weighed in with quarterly results that showed slower-than-expected growth in its users and revenue that missed Wall Street’s views. For the quarter ending in March, it reported revenue of $150 million, which was lower than the $158 million analysts were looking for, according to Thomson Reuters. The company had a loss of $2.31 a share, including compensation costs. Wall Street was looking for an adjusted loss of $0.20 a share.
Daily active users for the quarter came in at 166 million, lower than the 167.3 million expected. Its net loss was wider thanks to the $2 billion Snap spent on stock-based compensation following on the heels of its initial public offering. (See also: A SNAP Story: The Revenge of the IPO.)
Amid all that a growing group of investors are getting bearish on the company. According to financial analytics firm S3 Partners, short interest in Snap, increased sharply last week after the disappointing results for its first quarter. Shorts make bets a stock will fall. Short interest jumped 2.2% last week and accounts for 16.6% of the stock held by investors. “We expect that trend to continue following the earnings miss reported on Wednesday,” said Ihor Dusaniwsky, head of research at S3, told MarketWatch in an interview. “There is very little covering of short positions, which indicates that traders are expecting Snap to lose even more ground.”