Snap shares up ahead of results; options traders eye steep stock swing

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       Snap Inc. cofounders Evan Spiegel right and Bobby Murphy say they will not sell shares this year

Shares of Snap opened about 13 percent lower on Friday, trading near its all-time low of $11.90 a share.

Snapchat shares have plummeted 17% as the social media firm saw user numbers and revenues grow slower than expected and losses rise almost fourfold, amid increasing competition from Instagram.

Investors in Facebook, Twitter and now Snap care tremendously about user growth.

Snap Chief Executive Evan Spiegel, who along with his co-founder have enough voting control to direct the firm's fate, say little has changed in their calculus. The company has market cap of $14.42 billion.

While Snapchat sends fewer notifications, it encourages daily use through Snapstreak, which calls out streaks in which two friends send each other snaps at least once for more than three consecutive days. Google is reportedly working on Stamp, which The Wall Street Journal compared to Snapchat's Discover feature for letting people find photo and video-heavy news items.

Snap (NYSE:SNAP) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 10th.

Shares of Snap Inc.

Analysts such as Ralph Schackart at William Blair have suggested investors should wait it out as Snap captures more interest.

Some analysts praised the company's progress in user growth and revenue, even though it failed to meet market expectations.

Facebook once failed to buy Snapchat; ever since, it's tried to copy it, mostly without success. UBS Group AG raised shares of Snap from a "market perform" rating to an "outperform" rating and cut their target price for the company from $24.00 to $19.00 in a report on Thursday, May 11th.

Analysts said Thursday they were glad to see that Snap is gaining more money from the same clients. The firm's revenue was up 153.1% on a year-over-year basis.

Snapchat, in comparison, had 173 million in the second quarter - and that's all of Snapchat, not just its version of Stories. (NYSE:SNAP) during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Snap's monetization also remained somewhat sluggish this quarter, with overall quarterly ARPU coming in at $1.05.

Snap could win over skeptics if its efforts to provide training, software and discounts to small businesses turn into a solid pipeline of ad buys.

Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, is seeing steep increases in its losses while sales and user growth continue to disappoint. The company is also improving its ad measurement and analytics. The Company's advertising products include Snap Ads and Sponsored Creative Tools, such as Sponsored Lenses and Sponsored Geofilters.

A screenshot from Snapchat shows the Dancing Hot Dog.

Market watchers had expected the ranks of users to grow to 175 million, with Snap missing the mark.

Holding out from placing ads is more hard for Snap, which has $2.8 billion in cash and marketable investments.

Spiegel and Murphy's commitment to hold on to their shares will provide a slight boost of confidence for anxious investors, said James Gellert, CEO of RapidRatings, which assesses the financial health of companies. Another might be on a new item for sale in the service's "marketplace" section.

Some analysts attributed the miss to Snap's decision to not issue a forecast, which resulted in aggressive Street estimates.

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