With Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) gearing up to release some highly anticipated earnings after its first quarter gone public and Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) delivering first quarter earnings post market close this evening, top analyst Michael Graham at Canaccord differs from neutral to bullish in his take on these two tech players.
Snap certainly is a budding stock brimming with opportunities- but can Snapchat stand against the fire from Facebook’s Instagram Stories, gunning for Snap’s market shares at rapid-fire speed? Conversely, though Pandora’s first quarter will not reveal a read yet on its Premium beta launch, Graham sees maybe not standout results forthcoming, but certainly a “solid” ones, offering a bullish take on the firm. Let’s take a closer look:
Michael Graham has a very good TipRanks score with a 60% success rate and a high ranking of #144 out of 4,568 analysts. Graham realizes 12% in his annual returns. When recommending SNAP, Graham earns 0.0% in average profits on the stock. When suggesting P, Graham gains 7.9%.
Snap Not in a Bad Spot- But Threats Lurk Nearby
May 10th will be a big day for Snap, as this will be the CEO Evan Spiegel’s brainchild’s first earnings call to date. Having recently initiated coverage on the popular Snapchat-app parent company from a cautious stance, Graham continues to pinpoint various concerns, particularly as arch rival Facebook just boasted that Instagram Stories has 200 million daily active users.
With waning user growth, it is a serious question for Graham whether Snap has what it takes to compete in the social arena against the rest of the titans. Still, Snap showcases glimmers of promise from a multi-faceted advertising budget standpoint. For the analyst, Snap is not in a bad position here; but he is not being swayed away from the sidelines just yet.
Finding that consensus projections for Snap’s first performance as a publicly traded company are “admittedly wide,” the analyst notes, “we are at the low end of expectations.” As such, ahead of the first print, the analyst reiterates a Hold rating on shares of SNAP with a $22 price target, which represents a 4% downside from where the stock is currently trading.
A lot will come down to DAU growth and whether Spiegel can make the necessary changes to either stall the dipping trend or pull a 180 in its course. For the first quarter, the analyst anticipates DAU growth will slow to 35% year-over-year, a fall from 48% in the fourth quarter and 63% in the third quarter.
Meanwhile, consensus looks for more than 300% year-over-year revenue growth in the first quarter, thanks to stellar ARPU expansion of 200% year-over-year. In turn, the analyst projects approximately 260% revenue growth and about 170% ARPU expansion, “as we believe a more rapid pace of growth will be tricky in a seasonally slow advertising quarter and during a period of mix shift toward older demos,” explains Graham. Consensus looks for revenue to range between $130 to $195 million, a rather immense range, although not out of left field considering Snap’s ad platform remains in its mere beginnings.
Ultimately, Snap is “In a good spot but with some challenges to overcome,” the analyst concludes, highlighting, “We recently initiated on SNAP with a Hold rating, citing a large opportunity to capture rapidly growing mobile/video/social ad budgets but with several risks relating to decelerating user growth, a developing ad model, and competition. In its first quarter as a public company, we believe investors’ top focus points will be: 1) DAU growth; 2) ARPU/ revenue growth; 3) commentary on Facebook/Instagram competition; and 4) 2017 guidance/long-term margin targets.”
TipRanks analytics exhibit SNAP as a Hold. Out of 38 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 12 are bullish on Snap stock, 18 remain sidelined, and 8 are bearish on the stock. With a loss potential of close to 1%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $22.97.
Pandora’s Got Plenty of Room to Run
After the bell this evening, investors will be keeping their attention peeled to Pandora to post its first-quarter earnings for the year. Though the analyst believes the second quarter could be the first one to indicate the impact of the music streaming firm’s recently launched Premium services, he anticipates this quarter to be sound in its results, leaving him bullish on prospects both near-term and long-term.
Therefore, the analyst reiterates a Buy rating on P with a price target of $18, which represents a just under 69% increase from where the shares last closed.
Graham notes, “Q1 should have solid ad revenue; Q2 may be first read on Premium launch – Investors are likely most interested in the traction of the Premium service and the pace of subscriber growth. Given the proximity to the launch date, we believe any updates on Premium will be directional at best. In Q1, we still expect mostly solid performance, backed by ad RPM expansion that could have plenty of room to run.”
Moreover, Premium carries a great deal of potential from the analyst’s vantage point, who elaborates, “Pandora Premium launched a few weeks ago in mid-April, after just over a month in beta testing, invite-only mode. We believe Pandora is offering up a market-leading product, backed by its best-in-class music algorithm, that bridges the gap between on-demand and non-interactive use cases.”
“While the Premium rollout is in its early stages, the advertising business remains the majority of revenue and is strong footing for the company’s financials, user base, and music industry relationships. Last quarter, ad revenue significantly beat consensus and drove total revenue meaningfully above guidance,” Graham contends, confident that all looks ideal for CPMs and RPM.
TipRanks analytics show P as a Buy. Based on 9 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 4 rate a Buy on Pandora stock, 4 maintain a Hold, while 1 issues a Sell. The 12-month average price target stands at $15.29, marking a 43% upside from where the stock is currently trading.