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Credit Suisse sees 19% upside for Snap

Snap (SNAP) shares are up more than 175% for the year through Tuesday’s close, but one Wall Street analyst thinks the stock could rise another 19%.

Credit Suisse’s Stephen Ju raised his price target on the company to $18 from $15, citing data that suggests there is still significant room for Snap to increase its ad load in pursuit of revenue growth.

“While Snap has not given specific disclosure on time spent or sessions per day, we calculate that the number of Snap ads per session remains at ~0.3. Even if 80% of the sessions are spent on chat versus the Discover page, this still implies that Snap is showing less than 2 ads per session on average,” he wrote.

Ju sees ad revenue growth accelerating by the second half of the year or earlier as the company “laps the balance of the reserved/programmatic transition headwinds.”

He also says that the primary driver of Snapchat's revenue growth has been ad impressions, which mirrors the development path Facebook once took.

So far for 2019, Snap has outperformed peers Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR), which are up 52% and 31%, respectively.

Sankt-Petersburg Russia April 13, 2018: Apple iPhone X on office desk with icons of social media network instagram application on screen. Social network. Starting social media app. Photo taken at company office

The firm maintained its Outperform rating on the Snap, as it sees potential for better-than-expected user growth with its revamped Android app. In its first-quarter results, the company told investors that the new app is 25% smaller, opens 20% faster on average, and is modularized for more efficient ongoing innovation.

Most of the Street is lukewarm on the stock, with 26 Holds, 7 Buys and 6 Sell ratings, with an average 12-month price target of $12. Snap is expected to report second-quarter results on July 23.

Pamela Granda is a producer on Yahoo Finance’s closing bell show, The Final Round. Follow her on Twitter.

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