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Snap Shares Jump on Strong Q1 User Growth

By James Brumley - Apr 22, 2020 at 8:28AM

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The COVID-19 contagion has prompted more people to connect with the world by using the Snapchat app.

Coronavirus-related lockdowns may be problematic for most in-person businesses, but they've been a boon for social media name Snapchat. Parent company Snap (SNAP 3.89%) reported after Tuesday's close that the app's number of daily average users grew 20% year over year during the quarter ending in March. The figure now stands at 229 million versus 190 million at this point last year.

User growth was outpaced by revenue growth. The top line grew 44% to $462 million, and while the company remains in the red, last quarter's operating loss of $286 million was less than the $316 million loss booked for the comparable quarter of 2019. Operating cash flow of $6 million was a sizable swing from the year-ago negative cash flow of $66 million. EBITDA grew as well.

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That growth reflects Snapchat's continued improvement of overall engagement. The total amount of time spent by users watching Discover content grew 35% compared to Q1 2019's figures, while the average amount of time viewing Shows content more than doubled. Members aren't just engaged in more one-way communication though. Snap reported messages between friends during the final week of March -- when the fallout from the COVID-19 contagion was the most frenzied -- were 30% higher than they were during the last week of January.

The swell of usage and advertising revenue may have already peaked, however. CFO Derek Andersen commented in the company's remarks of first quarter numbers "Thus far in Q2 we estimate year-over-year revenue growth to be 15% through April 19, and our estimated growth rate in the most recent week is 11%."

Investors weren't deterred. Shares of Snap were up 20% in Wednesday's pre-open trading.

James Brumley has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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