October 21, 2018

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Snapchat May Be in a Bind

Snapchat May Be in a Bind

 

Snapchat vexed its fans earlier this year when it launched a redesign of the app earlier this year. The move resulted in a drop in daily users in August. Now, it is having troubles in Wall Street too.

 

Shares of Snap Inc. (SNAP) fell more than 6.5% Thursday to an all-time low after two analysts — Mark May of Citigroup and Anthony DiClemente of Evercore ISI — cut their target on Snapchat to $7 a share.

It’s now trading below $8, and has plunged more than 45% this year.

DiClemente, who keeps tabs on download activity, expects Snapchat will post another decline in users when it releases its third quarter earnings later this month or in early November.

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He said the redesign has been a particular problem for Android users.

Competition from Instagram — owned by Facebook (FB) — is intensifying too. DiClemente said that Snapchat has not done a good enough job of differentiating, especially since Instagram launched its own copycat Stories format.

Add that all up and Snapchat is in a serious bind.

DiClemente thinks some advertisers will keep spending on Snapchat because it’s the best way to target young audiences. But he added ‘there is no evidence to suggest that Snapchat is meaningfully expanding the pool of advertisers beyond its existing base.’

Turmoil in the management ranks isn’t helping either.

Imran Khan, Snapchat’s chief strategy officer, announced plans last month to leave the company. Khan, a former analyst with Credit Suisse and JPMorgan Chase, joined Snapchat in January 2015.

He was viewed similarly to Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg — the adult supervision for Snapchat’s young CEO and co-founder Evan Spiegel and fellow co-founder Bobby Murphy, who is also the firm’s chief technology officer.

Khan joins a growing list of executives that have bolted from Snapchat in the past year or so. Chief Financial Officer Drew Vollero left in May and was replaced by Tim Stone, a former Amazon executive.

Vice President of Product Tom Conrad said in January that he was leaving. And Snapchat’s engineering guru, Stuart Bowers, stepped aside in May to join Tesla.

Snapchat also hasn’t had a chief operating officer since Emily White left the company in 2015

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