Tech Transformers

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs should ‘hang heads in shame’ over Snap IPO: Analyst

Expert: Snap IPO is example of ‘bubble trouble’

Top investment banks behind the Snap Inc public listing are being slammed for the lack of voting rights that investors in the stock will receive.

Snap Inc priced its initial public offering above its target range at $17 per share on Wednesday, valuing the company at $24 billion when staff stock and deal bonuses are included.

The holding company, which owns social media phenomenon Snapchat, will debut on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday but investors have bought shares with no voting power.

Stephen Isaacs, chairman of the investment committee at Alvine Capital, says the major investment banks behind Snap's public debut are pushing through an unusual move that takes liberties with investors' rights.

"Morgan Stanley and Goldman should hang their heads in shame here. I mean not about the valuation but non-voting shares?

"Isn't that the ultimate example of bubble trouble? So I say we are in a bubble, there is no value and investors should take a lot of risk off the table," he said Thursday.

Snap Inc. signage is displayed on screens outside of the Morgan Stanley building in New York, on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Morgan Stanley declined to comment and Goldman Sachs was not immediately available to respond when contacted by CNBC via email.

Isaacs says the Snap Inc IPO could come to symbolize something bigger than just the deal itself as markets continue to bloat ever higher.

"There are two views; the Warren Buffett view is that he market isn't that expensive, the American economy is doing well and the long-term investor should always be engaged. And in the end he's done a pretty good job of managing other people's money.

"The other view which I'm afraid I agree with is that we are in a cycle, we are at the top of the cycle, valuations show absolutely no value and then Snap comes along," Isaacs said.

"Sometimes a deal at the top of the market can be something that crystallizes the insanity", he added.

A banner for Snap Inc. hangs on the facade of the the New York Stock Exchange on the eve of the company's IPO in New York.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters

On trailing numbers, investors are being asked to buy Snap Inc at a price over revenue multiple of around 60.

Neil Campling, Global Head of TMT Research at Northern Trust Capital Markets said Thursday that on a forward basis that figure falls to around 20, but worries remain.

Campling said user growth is slowing when it should be accelerating and that should concern investors.

The analyst added that trying to judge another key metric, the average revenue per user, is both "critical and highly difficult".

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect Warren Buffett's correct spelling.