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Eyes on redesign, user growth in Snap's upcoming earnings

07 February 2018

Investors were impressed. The company's shares, which have almost halved in the past year, rose more than 20 percent in after-hours trading to $16.95.

For Q3, Snap reported 178 million daily active users (DAUs) vs. the 181.8 million expected by analysts.

Snap, which makes the Snapchat photo-messaging app, said fourth-quarter sales jumped 72 percent to $285.7 million, beating the $252.8 million average projection of analysts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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Snap (SNAP +1%) reports earnings after the close with an eye on the company's recent redesign, and whether it can show it's making up ground against Instagram.

Snap shares have tumbled since a keenly anticipated public offering in March 2017 at $24, on concerns that it may not be able to keep pace with rivals like Facebook in the fast-evolving world of social media. This represented 4.5 million new DAUs, or growth of about 17% year-over-year, but just 3% sequential growth.

At the same time, the big announcement during Snap's last earnings report was CEO Evan Spiegel's admission that the service is too hard to use, meaning the company is at least thinking about trying to get new people to use the service. However, even if it hits that number, it would still represent the sixth straight quarter of year-over-year revenue growth deceleration.

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"Our business really came together towards the end of a year ago", Chief Executive Officer Evan Spiegel said in a statement. But the company's bet on Spectacles has been expensive, costing the company $40 million last quarter for "excess inventory".

For the full year, Snap's revenue rose to $825m, more than double the $404m it made last year. Analysts had only been expecting Snap Inc (SNAP) to add 6 million daily users for a total user base of 184 million daily users. In the new version, users' Discover Stories and friends' stories will reportedly be separated, which means there will be fewer chances for curious users to click on publishers' content, which could further hurt Snap's advertising efforts.

Spiegel said 90 percent of Snap ad revenues now come from its automated platforms, and said this system is likely to help boost growth.

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Eyes on redesign, user growth in Snap's upcoming earnings