Analyst: "Nightmare" Over for SNAP

The Snapchat parent will report earnings on Feb. 5

by Andrea Kramer

Published on Feb 1, 2019 at 11:11 AM

The shares of Snapchat parent Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) are higher this morning, after analysts at Cascend Securities upgraded the stock to "hold" from "sell" ahead of earnings next week. The brokerage firm said the company's Snapchat redesign "nightmare" is over, with the app's Android ratings on the rebound. At last check, SNAP stock is up 5.5% at $7.04.

The social media stock is set for its highest close since early November, and on pace to take out recent resistance in the $6.50-$7 area. Further, SNAP is eyeing its fourth straight daily gain, which would mark its longest winning streak since August.

As alluded to earlier, Snap is set to report earnings after the close on Tuesday, Feb. 5. While SNAP shareholders are hoping for an earnings win in the style of fellow social media titan Facebook (FB), history isn't on the side of the bulls. The security has suffered double-digit percentage declines the session after six of the last seven earnings reports, including a 10.2% slide in October. The last time SNAP enjoyed a positive earnings reaction was in February 2018, with the equity surging nearly 48% in one day.

On average, SNAP has moved 19.5% the day after earnings, regardless of direction. This time around, the options market is pricing in a slightly lower 18.3% swing for the shares. The stock's lofty Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) of 85 indicates the stock has handily exceeded options traders' volatility expectations in the past year.

Should the equity extend its recent run higher after earnings, more analysts could hop off the bearish train. SNAP currently sports just one "strong buy" rating, compared to 17 tepid "holds" and six "strong sell" recommendations. Plus, the consensus 12-month price target of $7.45 is just a stone's throw from current levels, leaving the door open for potential price-target hikes as well.

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