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Mizuho Initiates Snap With Mixed Feelings

Mizuho Initiates Snap With Mixed Feelings

The reserved sell-side reaction to newly IPO-ed Snap Inc (NYSE: SNAP) continued Friday with an initiation from Mizuho. The firm started Snap with a Neutral rating and $20 price target.

A survey of more than 1,000 Snap users by Mizuho found that 79 percent open the app more than twice a day. Twenty-one percent use Snap more than 15 times a day, an engagement level analysts Neil Doshi and San Q. Phan said is “quite astonishing.”

Sixty-four percent of those avid users, though, said they “hardly ever” click on an ad in Snap, according to Mizuho — demonstrating the hill Snap has to climb.

“In our view, Snap will need to materially improve its advertising targeting and ad quality to increase ad loads without diminishing the user experience,” Doshi and Phan said.

Snap, which has approximately 158 million daily users, was priced at $17 in its March 1 initial public offering.

The Mizuho analysts projected Snap will generate positive operating income by 2020.

User Growth, Revenue Needed

Revenue projections for Snap are sensitive to shifts in user growth and average revenue per user, or ARPU, Doshi and Phan said.

A 1 percent change in the four-year compound annual growth rate, or CAGR, of Snap’s daily active users and a $1 change in Mizuho’s projected ARPU for Snap would drive a $430 million change in Snap’s revenue based on the analyst firm’s model.

“We conclude that if Snap cannot grow its user base from current levels, it will need to grow its ARPU to near-Facebook levels in order to meet our revenue expectations in 2020, which we believe could be a considerable challenge,” the Mizuho analysts said.

Latest Ratings for SNAP

Jan 2021Morgan StanleyMaintainsEqual-Weight
Dec 2020Goldman SachsMaintainsBuy
Dec 2020B of A SecuritiesMaintainsBuy

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