Snap soars over 40 percent in IPO debut

Steven Loeb · March 2, 2017 · Short URL:

The company had a bigger jump than Facebook, but couldn't touch Twitter's 74 percent opening

Snap closed out its first day of trading at $24.67, up 45 percent from its IPO price of $17.

The Venice, California-based company made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday morning, and it immediately made a big splash, opening at $24 per share, 41 percent above its IPO price. 

It is the first tech IPO of 2017, the first social network to go public since Twitter in 2013 and, having raised $3.4 billion, the largest tech IPO since Alibaba raised $25 billion when it went public in 2014.

The company was valued at $23.8 billion, and with revenue of $404.5 million in 2016, the company has a price-to-revenue ratio of 58.8. According to data compiled by Business Insider, that makes it, by far, the company with the highest ratio among many of its peers when they went public; the only other recent IPO that comes close to that is Twitter, which had a ratio of 44.8. Meanwhile, Facebook's was 28, Amazon's was 19.1, Google/Alphabet was 16 and Microsoft's was only 3.7.

Now that Snap is a publically traded company, its current market cap is $29.15 billion, giving it a P/R ratio of 72, significantly higher than those other companies: Alphabet's ratio is 6.5; Twitter's is 4.52; Facebook's is 15.5; Amazon's is 3; and Microsoft's is 8. 

Here's how Snap's debut compares to some other big tech IPOs of the last few years:


IPO price: $38

Opening price: $42.05, up 11 percent

End of day price: $38.23, up 0.6 percent

End of year price: $26.25, down 31 percent


IPO price: $26

Opening price: $45.10, up 74 percent

End of day price: $44.9, up 72.7 percent

End of year price: $40.31, down 55 percent


IPO price: $85

Opening price: $100, up 17 percent

End of day price: $100.34, up 18 percent

End of year price: $279.99, up 230 percent


IPO price: $68

Opening price: $92.7, up 36.3 percent

End of day price: $93.89, up 38 percent 

End of year price: $65.75, down 3.3 percent


IPO price: $9

Opening price: $11.2, up 24 percent

End of day price: $13.07, up 45 percent

End of year price: $12.16, up 35 percent


IPO price: $15

Opening price: $22.01, up 47 percent

End of day price: $24.58, up 64 percent

End of year price: $23.01, up 53.4 percent


IPO price: $20

Opening price: $30.40, up 52 percent

End of day price: $29.68, up 48.4 percent

End of year price: $12.83, down 35.85 percent


IPO price: $14 

Opening price: $20.2, up 44 percent

End of day price: $23.23, up 66 percent

End of year price: $10.59, down 24 percent


IPO price: $10

Opening price: $11, up 10 percent 

End of day price: $9.5, down 5 percent

End of year price: $2.54, down 74.6 percent


IPO price: $20

Opening price: $28, up 40 percent

End of day price: $26.11, up 30.55 percent

End of year price: $3.83, down 80.85 percent

Snap revenue numbers

Snap currently makes all of its money from advertising, with products that include Snap Ads, which it describes as "vertical full screen video advertisements in the familiar Snap format." Snap Ads are played in Stories, and on average over 60 percent of Snap Ads are watched with audio on.

It also offers Sponsored Creative Tools, such as Sponsored Lenses and Sponsored Geofilters, in which the company partners with brands

The company sells ads in two ways: "Snap-sold" which is advertising sold directly to advertisers, and "partner-sold," where its content partners sell to advertisers.

The percentage of Snap-sold advertising rose in 2016, from 87 percent to 91 percent, while partner-sold advertising revenue dropped from 13 percent to 9 percent. Currently, Sponsored Creative Tools are only Snap-sold, while Snap Ads may be Snap-sold or partner-sold.

From 2015 to 2016, Snap saw its revenue growing by nearly 7x, from $58.7 million to $404.4 million. At the same time, the company saw its net loss grow from $372.9 million to $514.7 million in the same time frame, a rise of 37 percent.

Advertising won't be the company's only source of revenue for long.

In September, Snapchat announced that it was changing its name to Snap Inc, and that it was launching a new product called Spectacles, sunglasses with an integrated video camera that makes it easy to create Memories. They began showing up in pop-up shops around the country, and they gained the kind of traction and buzz that Google Glass had, without any of the blowback that the previous device had experienced.

So far, the company says that Spectacles "has not generated significant revenue."

Snap is currently trading at $25.71 a share, up 51.24 percent from its IPO price. 

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