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Pinterest Hit With $89.5M Cancelled Lease Fee; Stock Up 90% YTD

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Photo-sharing platform Pinterest (PINS) has terminated its lease for approximately 490,000 square feet of office space to be constructed near its current headquarters campus in San Francisco, California.

Instead, the company’s present plan is to continue to lease its current buildings in downtown San Francisco.

The agreement involved a one-time payment of $89.5 million in the third quarter of 2020.

However, due to the termination, Pinterest will no longer be subject to future minimum lease payments of approximately $440 million.

This will be reflected in Pinterest’s financial statements as a GAAP general and administrative expense, to be filed with its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended September 30, 2020.

“As we analyze how our workplace will change in a post-COVID world, we are specifically rethinking where future employees could be based,” said Todd Morgenfeld, CFO and Head of Business Operations of Pinterest.

“A more distributed workforce will give us the opportunity to hire people from a wider range of backgrounds and experiences.”

Shares in PINS have spiked almost 90% year-to-date, and the stock shows a cautiously optimistic Moderate Buy Street consensus. That’s with 9 buy ratings vs 11 hold ratings in the last three months.

Meanwhile, thanks to the recent rally, the average analyst price target indicates only 0.3% upside potential from current levels.

Monness analyst Brian White is one of the analysts staying on the sidelines. He reiterated his PINS Hold rating after the company reported solid 2Q:20 results and provided promising 3Q:20 growth expectations.

For instance, Pinterest’s MAU (monthly active users) came in at 416 million (up 39% YoY) in 2Q:20, up sharply from the 367 million in 1Q:20, and well above the analyst’s estimate of 377 million. The combination of existing users coming back to the platform during this COVID-19 crisis and strength with Gen Z users under the age of 25 were highlighted.

“Essentially, the company called out the COVID-19 lockdown driving users to reevaluate their daily habits, turning to Pinterest in search of inspiration” commented White, adding: “The sustainability of these trends remains open for debate and we maintain a Neutral rating.” (See Pinterest stock-price forecast on TipRanks)

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