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Snap pops 9 percent after winning second 'buy' recommendation

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03/22/2017 | 06:42pm CET
A woman stands in front of the logo of Snap Inc. on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) while waiting for Snap Inc. to post their IPO, in New York City

Shares of Snap Inc (>> Snap Inc) jumped 9 percent on Wednesday after the owner of messaging app Snapchat received a second analyst "buy" rating following a red-hot public listing this month and with Wall Street skeptical about its lofty valuation.

Shares of Snap Inc (>> Snap Inc) jumped 9 percent on Wednesday after the owner of messaging app Snapchat received a second analyst "buy" rating following a red-hot public listing this month and with Wall Street skeptical about its lofty valuation.

The listing on March 1 was the largest by a technology firm in three years, but trading has been volatile, with many investors critical of lack of profitability and decelerating user growth.

Snap's stock was up 7.1 percent at $21.84 early Wednesday afternoon and traders bought call options contracts at the fastest pace since they first became available on March 10, according to options analytics firm Trade Alert.

A call conveys the right to purchase shares at a fixed price and is usually used to bet on share price gains.

In the newest vote of confidence for Snap, Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White on Tuesday launched coverage with a "buy" rating and a $30 target price.

"We view Snap as a platform for the imagination that unlocks the creativity of its users and allows uninhibited expression with friends. Snap is a fun place to spend time which can be monetized," White wrote in a note to clients.

The Los Angeles-based company's app, which allows users to share short-lived messages and pictures, is popular with young people but faces intense competition from larger rivals such as Facebook Inc's (>> Facebook Inc) Instagram. Snap has warned it may never become profitable.

Based on the analysts' average buy, sell and neutral recommendations, Snap has the second-worst rating among 282 U.S. companies that have a market capitalization of at least $20 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data. The worst-rated is Sprint Corp (>> Sprint Corp).

Most analysts do not expect the stock to rise over the next year.

Including White, two analysts now recommend buying Snap's stock, while five recommend selling, and four have "neutral" ratings, according to Thomson Reuters data. Their median price target is $21.

In its first two days of trading, Snap surged 59 percent from its $17 initial public offering price.

(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Richard Chang)

By Noel Randewich and Saqib Iqbal Ahmed

Stocks treated in this article : Facebook Inc, Sprint Corp, Snap Inc
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Financials ($)
Sales 2017 37 861 M
EBIT 2017 21 213 M
Net income 2017 12 819 M
Finance 2017 37 114 M
Yield 2017 -
P/E ratio 2017 31,42
P/E ratio 2018 24,39
EV / Sales 2017 9,59x
EV / Sales 2018 7,22x
Capitalization 400 291 M
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 47
Average target price 160 $
Spread / Average Target 15%
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NameTitle
Mark Elliot Zuckerberg Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Sheryl Kara Sandberg Chief Operating Officer & Director
David M. Wehner Chief Financial Officer
Michael Todd Schroepfer Chief Technology Officer
Atish Banerjea Chief Information Officer
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