It's A Snap

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Social distancing during the pandemic has been tough for many, but social media platforms like Snap (SNAP) have kept families and friends connected throughout.

Snap’s popular app enjoys widespread use among Gen Z and Millennial users in the U.S., boasting one of the highest engagement rates within the youth demographic, with 48% of U.S. 15-to-25-year-olds Snapchat users, along with 30% of all 26-to-35-year-olds.

The firm’s camera-based platform appeals to this demographic (which is 150% more likely to communicate through pictures than with words), and Snap’s cameras are used to create over five billion “snaps” per day.

Indicative of Snap’s success in bridging the distance gap were sterling fourth quarter results. Q4 saw the top line grow 62% from a year ago, continuing the accelerating trend that showed up in Q3.

Just as impressive, Snapchat also saw its daily active user count rise 22% to 265 million, while the bottom line was in the black for the second straight quarter (nine cents a share was six cents above estimates); the top brass sees revenue rising by 58% to $730 million in this year’s Q1.

Looking ahead, Snap is focused on improving its camera platform, increasing streaming content and developing interactive products for older users, such as Snap Map (where users can engage in shared stories and businesses from around the globe).

There were some initial worries about some changes in requirements by Apple (AAPL) regarding advertising (more opt-ins to track users), but investors didn’t seem dissuaded after the Q4 report.

Big picture, Snap remains a leader that’s likely to benefit as advertisers look for other avenues to reach people outside of Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOGL).

Technically, after basing for nearly four months, SNAP took off in October with an earnings-related gap on 13 times average volume—a major clue that a sustained advance has gotten underway.

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