Spotify hits all-time high after earnings report

  • Spotify reported second-quarter results mostly in line with expectations.
  • The service now has 83 million paid subscribers and 101 million ad-supported monthly active users.
Daniel Ek, chief executive officer and co-founder of Spotify AB
Akio Kon | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Daniel Ek, chief executive officer and co-founder of Spotify AB

Spotify shares closed up 4.41 percent, after hitting a fresh high in intra-day trading on Thursday. The music streaming company reported second-quarter financial results that fell roughly in line with expectations and surpassed 100 million monthly active users.

It was Spotify's second earnings report since the company went public in April.

The stock surged in regular trading, recovering after dipping 4 percent immediately after the earnings were released pre-market. At one point the stock hit a high of $198.99 per share, and Spotify's market cap went past $34 billion.

Here’s how the company did (currency rates from Oanda):

  • Revenue: $1.49 billion vs. $1.49 billion forecast by Thomson Reuters
  • Premium Subscribers: 83 million vs. 82 million expected by a FactSet consensus estimate.
  • Ad-supported monthly active users: 101 million vs. 99.7 million expected by a FactSet consensus estimate.

In the second quarter, revenue growth was hit by Europe's General Data Protection Regulation, a headwind to which executives attributed to a lag in overall revenue growth. Spotify said in a statement it saw "GDPR disruption across our European markets during Q2 but [we] seem to be largely past that now."

"GDPR posed mostly a timing challenge for us, mostly with ad holding companies, exclusively in the free business. It was an opportunity for them to try to negotiate for a broader set of information sharing rights, and we weren't willing to give them," CFO Barry McCarthy said on a call with media.

"When it became clear we weren't going to soften our position, we were able to move on and get back to the business of booking revenue. So it was kind of a short-term hiccup."

Spotify also noted a slight slowdown in ad-supported monthly active user growth. Rather than averaging 8 to 9 percent growth quarter to quarter, Spotify saw ad-supported monthly active users increase by about 2 percent quarter to quarter and 23 percent year over year. McCarthy said the slowing growth would really only be a concern if it interfered with performance in future quarters.

Spotify's third-quarter outlook fell in line with Wall Street expectations. Spotify anticipates 85 million to 88 million premium subscribers in the quarter ending in September, versus 86 million expected by analysts surveyed by FactSet. As for revenue, Spotify expects $1.4 billion to $1.64 billion, compared with the $1.55 billion expected by a FactSet consensus estimate.

Since its public share sale on April 3, Spotify shares have climbed from an opening price of $165.90 to $198.99 in intra-day trading on Thursday.

In its first earnings report in May, the music streaming company reported 75 million paying members, but discounted subscriptions reduced its average revenue per user. That figure along with a weaker-than-expected revenue forecast sent the shares tumbling.

Spotify has since recovered, with the stock climbing to a record this week. Investors are showing more confidence in Spotify's business, but the company continues to face stiff competition from Pandora as well as tech giants Google, Amazon and Apple.