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Inside Snap

Inside Snap (Jul 13th, 2017)

Snapchat shares were upgraded to buy from hold by Stifel, which says worries around the company’s future could be exaggerated. Stifel analyst Scott Devitt said while Instagram remains a chief concern for investors, he notes that Snap has healthy download trends in key ad markets. The firm believes “near-term risks to revenue-generating [daily active users] may be overstated,” Devitt wrote in a note to investors. Stifel said it believes Snap’s fundamental business is on track as it innovates more consumer products and evolves its tools for advertisers. Snap shares increased 3.7 percent on the upgrade early in Thursday’s session. – CNBC

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Millennials are not that interested in Snap Inc.’s Spectacles glasses, according to Aegis Capital’s informal poll. Spectacles, which can take short videos with built-in cameras, are Snap’s first foray into hardware as it tries to position itself more as a camera company rather than a social media company. The glasses sell for $130, and millennials are not buying them, says Aegis analyst Victor Anthony, who queried less than 30 millennial users. “Our sample was small and not statistically significant but was quite telling,” Anthony said. Anthony said none of the millennials he spoke to had purchased the glasses or knew anyone who purchased the glasses. Nor had any respondents seen anyone wearing them. – BARRON’S

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Snapchat is launching another original show, this one about the “ghosting” trend in dating, when someone suddenly shuts down communication. “Ghost Hunt” will be an eight-episode, unscripted series. The host, comedian Matteo Lane, will help people track down former romantic partners who ghosted them and will bring them together for some closure. The show will be produced with Vertical Networks, which is working on three other Snapchat shows: "Phone Swap," "Yes Theory" and "Without Limits." – BUSINESS INSIDER

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Morgan Stanley (MS), one of the lead underwriters on Snap Inc.’s IPO earlier this year, downgraded the stock to equal weight from overweight while cutting its price target to $16 from $28. The firm cited weakness in Snap’s advertising business in the wake of delayed improvements to products for advertisers, including how it measures return on investment. Morgan Stanley also cited concerns about growing competition from Facebook as well as Snapchat’s daily active user numbers, which Morgan Stanley believes are declining. “We have been wrong about Snap’s ability to innovate and improve its ad product this year,” Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak wrote in a note to clients. The downgrade caused Snap shares to slip below their IPO price of $17 on Tuesday for the first time. – MARKETWATCH

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Twitter Inc. (TWTR) named Ned Segal as its new chief financial officer effective next month. Segal, previously CFO of Intuit’s (INTU) small business unit, takes over the role from COO Anthony Noto, who had been serving in two capacities. Twitter is granting Segal about $22 million in stock vesting over four years, an annual salary of $500,000 and a sign-on bonus of $300,000. Before Intuit, Segal served as CFO of RPX Corp. and was an executive at Goldman Sachs. “Ned’s experience in financial operations … along with his background serving technology companies and investors, are an ideal fit for Twitter,” said Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in a statement. Twitter shares are up more than 17 percent year to date. – BARRON’S

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