Snap Inc. received a deluge of bullish ratings from several Wall Street banks on Monday, sending the company's shares higher in premarket trading.
The banks that initiated coverage included underwriters of the Snapchat parent's initial public offering that had been subject to a 25-day quiet period.
Here's a rundown of the ratings:
Goldman Sachs: Buy, $27 price target
Morgan Stanley: Overweight, $28 price target
Citi: Buy, $27 price target
RBC: Outperform, $31 price target
Jefferies: Buy, $30 price target
Oppenheimer: Market perform
Credit Suisse: Outperform, $30 price target
UBS: Neutral, $24 price target
Stifel: Hold, $24 price target
Cowen: Outperform, $26 price target
Snap now has 12 "buy" ratings, 11 "holds," and six "sells," according to Bloomberg. The stock gained as much as 3% premarket to $23.50, 50 cents short of its IPO opening price.
Morgan Stanley, Goldman, and JPMorgan were the underwriters that received the highest number of shares.
"We believe Snap has all the ingredients to build a robust advertising business," Jefferies' Brian Fitzgerald said in a note.
"Snap has a large audience (158 million daily active users), deep engagement, and robust data about its users. Due to the asset-light strategy (Snap outsources its infrastructure costs to Google and Amazon), Snap should scale its business without significant capex investment. We forecast the company will achieve GAAP profitability by 2019."
The buzz around Snap's IPO — the largest in tech since 2014 — quickly faded after some of the earliest Wall Street ratings were neutral or bearish. Analysts cast doubt on Snap's ability to compete as an advertising platform with other social networks like Facebook and to become profitable. There was also concern about the fact that Snap does not offer voting rights to shareholders, giving them no say in issues like executive compensation.
"Snap has become an innovation leader — for both consumers and advertisers — in arguably the single fastest advertising medium today — mobile," Mark Mahaney, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, wrote in a note. "It has also emerged as one of the leading media platforms for millennials. We believe that if it sustains its current level of innovation, it can sustain premium growth for a long time and scale to profitability."
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