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Snap's report incinerates $80 billion in ad industry market cap

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By Noel Randewich

July 21 (Reuters) - Facebook-owner Meta Platforms, Google-owner Alphabet and other companies that sell online ads lost about $80 billion in combined stock market value on Thursday after Snap posted poor quarterly results and warned of an uncertain outlook.

Slammed by a weakening economy, increased competition from TikTok and recent privacy changes on iPhones, the Snapchat owner missed second-quarter revenue targets and warned that "forward-looking visibility remains incredibly challenging."

Its shares collapsed 26%, bringing Snap's loss in 2022 to over 70%.

With Wall Street already worried about a potential recession, Snap's report also sparked a selloff in rival internet ad sellers. Meta dropped 5% in extended trade, while Alphabet fell 3% and Pinterest tumbled 7%.

Twitter's shares fell less, losing just under 2%.

The drop in Alphabet's shares cut its market capitalization by over $40 billion, and Meta's loss reduced its market capitalization by about $25 billion. The drop in Snap's shares evaporated $7 billion of its value.

Snap's poor report also hit other growth stocks, with Spotify Technology, Shopify and Roblox down around 3% each after hours.

With Twitter suing Elon Musk to force the billionaire to make good on his April promise to buy Twitter for $44 billion, many investors view Twitter's stock as a wager on the outcome of that upcoming legal battle, and less as a reflection of the company's current fundamentals.

Twitter is set to report its quarterly results early on Friday, but the micro-blogging platform has canceled its traditional call with analysts, pointing to Musk's "pending acquisition".

In its report, Snap said its daily active users rose 18% year-over-year to 347 million, beating analysts' expectations.

But that user growth comes as the customers of social media companies face inflation at 40-year highs and brace for a potential economic downturn, an environment where brands spend less on advertising and apply greater scrutiny to how they spend their advertising dollars.

Alphabet posts its second-quarter results on July 26, Meta reports on results on July 27, and Pinterest on Aug. 1. (Reporting by Noel Randewich; editing by Richard Pullin)