Shares of Snap (SNAP -1.96%) got a boost on Thursday after the news media got hold of an internal memo from CEO Evan Spiegel. Analysts are responding favorably to the memo, and that's why Snap stock was enjoying a 10% jump as of 11:15 a.m. ET today.
As reported by tech news website The Verge on Wednesday, Spiegel has laid out a plan to Snap's employees calling for $6 billion in revenue in 2023 and over $1 billion in free cash flow (FCF). For perspective, as of the second quarter of 2022, the company has just over $4.5 billion in trailing-12-month revenue and $172 million in cumulative FCF.
In other words, Spiegel is calling for impressive growth over the next 16 months or so, turning Wall Street's head. For example, both UBS analyst Lloyd Walmsley and Bank of America analyst Justin Post were positive on news of this leaked memo and think Snap is a stock worth buying, according to The Fly.
As of this writing, Snap stock is down 74% year to date. And much of the reason is a slowdown in the business due to the economy, resulting in layoffs and canceled projects. So Spiegel's upbeat tone and guidance are in juxtaposition to the company's recent performance, pleasantly surprising the market. And it's why Snap stock is up today.
If I were a Snap shareholder, I'd take Spiegel's leaked memo with a grain of salt. On one hand, it's good to know that the company isn't giving up in the face of adversity. And if it can generate $1 billion in FCF in 2023, then the stock's valuation looks somewhat reasonable considering the market capitalization is around $20 billion.
However, Snap had good revenue and FCF targets in place prior to the current macroeconomic environment. But according to Spiegel, the company got "punched in the face hard" by factors it didn't anticipate. Therefore, it's fair to wonder if its 2023 goals fully account for everything that could reasonably happen in the coming year, or if it will get punched in the face a second time.
In other words, it might be worth waiting for some more progress from Snap before getting too optimistic about its new goals.