Snapchat Stock Soars on Revenue Gains

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Shares of Snap Inc. are up sharply in extended trading following stronger-than-expected revenue and solid user growth for the company's fourth quarter. The number of daily active users spiked 18% YoY to 187 million, topping the 184.3 million that analysts were looking for.

Snap crushed Wall Street expectations during the fourth quarter.

Snap is working on redesigning its app to separate what friends share and what media organizations publish in an attempt to appeal to a broader range of users. Tuesday Snap, Inc. closed at $14.06 a share, then rallied 22% in after hours trading. Snapchat's user growth was better than a 5 percent jump quarter-over-quarter - only three months removed from posting a 2.9 percent growth rate.

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Snap generated some $285.69 million in revenue during the quarter ending December 31, compared to $165.68 million during the same quarter a year before. Ever since the company behind Snapchat publicly unveiled paperwork with plans for a $20 billion IPO nearly exactly a year ago, concerns have surfaced about Snap's long-term viability. Earnings per share came in at $0.13 compared to a significantly lower $-0.16.

The company's share price has traded below its $17 initial public offering (IPO) price for the majority of its time as a listed firm.

Analysts had expected losses of $409 million, and revenue of around $253 million.

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The company reported fourth-quarter results as Wall Street was looking for signs of life from an app that struggled at points a year ago. That could help Snapchat compete for more of a mainstream audience.

Internet companies commonly use stock awards as a way to lure developers in a highly competitive market, where cash-rich companies like Google and Facebook can pay much higher salaries.

Still, Snap has a long way to go in its turnaround.

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"We ended 2017 confident that we can grow our Snapchat community and monetize our products more efficiently than ever before", Spiegel said. The sales boost represented a 72 percent year-over-year increase.