Snap's Valuation Takes A Hit, Pre IPO

Snap, Inc. expects to sell its stock between $14 and $16 per share, the tech darling revealed in an S-1 document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday.

By offering 200 million shares, that should value the Snapchat parent anywhere between $16 billion and $18.5 billion.

That’s considerably less than recent estimates that put the company’s valuation between $20 billion and $25 billion.

Trying to whet investors’ appetites, Snap said in a recent filing: “Our advertising business is still young, but growing rapidly.” Indeed, the company saw revenue of $404.5 million last year -- up more than 600% from the $58.7 million it generated in 2015.



Along with growing membership, Snap is increasingly making more ad revenue from each user.

Worldwide, average revenue per user (ARPU) in the last three months of 2016 was $1.05 -- up from $0.31 during the same period a year earlier. In North America, Snap’s ARPU in the last three months of 2016 was $2.15 -- up from $0.65 year-over-year.

Yet Snap still is not making a profit. Last year, the company incurred a net loss of $514.6 million -- up from a net loss of $372.9 million in 2015.

What’s more, despite its impressive growth, investors may be concerned that Snap’s ad-centric business model is too one-dimensional.

That may be why Snap billed itself as a “camera company,” in its recent S-1 filing.

“The description may illustrate [Snap’s] intention to diversify more significantly away from advertising in the future,” Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser suggested in a recent note to investors.

Regardless, “If the company does intend to [diversify], it reinforces the early-stage nature of company at the present time,” Wieser wrote.

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