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Snap slumps 12 percent, closes at lowest since IPO

By Noel Randewich
Traders gather at the post where Snap Inc. is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 6, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Noel Randewich

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Shares of Snap Inc slumped 12 percent on Monday and closed at their lowest level of the three sessions since the Snapchat owner's soaring market debut last week.

The $3.4-billion listing last Thursday was the hottest technology offering in three years, but the loss-making company's lofty valuation and slowing user growth have raised eyebrows on Wall Street.

In its market debut last Thursday, Snap surged 44 percent from its $17 IPO price to close at $24.48.

After jumping another 11 percent on Friday, the stock on Monday reversed course and fell 12.25 percent to close at $23.77.

"It's not necessarily because there's something wrong with it. It's because it probably moved way too far, way too fast," said Ken Polcari, director of the NYSE floor division at O’Neil Securities in New York.

Snap is the parent of Snapchat, an app popular with young people for its disappearing messages.

Needham analyst Laura Martin rated Snap "underperform" and compared its stock to buying a lottery ticket.

Of six analysts who have initiated coverage of Snap, four recommend selling, while none have "buy" ratings and two have neutral ratings, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Meanwhile, a group representing large institutional investors has approached stock index providers S&P Dow Jones Indices and MSCI Inc, looking to bar Snap and any other companies that sell non-voting shares from being included in stock benchmarks.

History suggests investors shut out of IPOs are better off waiting instead of rushing to buy them immediately after their debuts.

Globally, shares of most of the 25 largest technology IPOs have languished in their first 12 months on the public market, with 16 of them notching a hefty decline from their debut day closing price, according to a Reuters analysis of market performance.

(Additional reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Nick Zieminski)