Snap Inc., parent company of Snapchat, reported a net loss of $2.2 billion (-$2.31 a share) during its first quarter as a public company, stemming mostly from stock-based compensation issued to employees for its initial public offering in March.
That disclosure and news that Snapchat’s daily active users increased by just 5 percent in the first quarter to 166 million caused the Venice company’s share price to fall more than 25 percent in after-hours trading to $17.23. The social media firm went public at $17 a share on March 2.
The lackluster performance, which did not meet Wall Street’s expectations, comes as Snap tries to fend off efforts by its larger rival, Facebook, to clone Snapchat’s features and steal its user base. Facebook-owned Instagram launched its Stories last August and has amassed more than 200 million daily active users as of last month – 20 percent more than Snapchat.
Snap has also reportedly tried to grow revenue by boosting advertising revenue per user, not by rapidly expanding its user base. That tactic didn’t pay off during the first quarter as Snapchat’s average revenue per user fell 14 percent to 90 cents in the first quarter from $1.05 in the fourth quarter – a drop of 17 percent.
Snap’s revenue for the first quarter rose 286 percent to nearly $150 million, up from $38.8 million in the same quarter last year. However, Snap’s first quarter revenue fell by 11 percent when compared to the fourth quarter of 2016 when it generated $166 million.
Technology reporter Garrett Reim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @garrettreim for the latest in L.A. tech news.