Snap tanks on revenue shortfall

Key Points
  • Snap reported revenue of $561 million, missing analysts expectations of $563 million. 
  • Snap, maker of Snapchat, posted earnings of 3 cents per share, versus an expected 1 cent per share.
  • The company grew its daily active users to 218 million, up from 210 million in the previous quarter. 
CFRA's John Freeman on Snap's Q4 earnings
CFRA's John Freeman on Snap's Q4 earnings

Snap just released its fourth-quarter earnings, and the company missed on revenue expectations, sending shares plunging as much as 14% after the bell on Tuesday.

Here's how the numbers came in:

  • Earnings: 3 cents per share vs. 1 cent per share forecast by Refinitiv
  • Revenue: $561 million vs. $563 million forecast by Refinitiv
  • Global daily active users (DAUs): 218 million vs. 215 million forecast by FactSet
  • Average revenue per user: $2.58 vs. $2.62 forecast by FactSet

Snap reported revenue of $561 million, up 44% compared to a year prior. Analysts were expecting Snap to report $563 million in revenue for the period.

"The strength in our core business gives us confidence in our long term growth and profitability and we're excited to build on these results in 2020 and beyond," Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said in a statement.

The company reported 218 million daily active users for the fourth quarter, up 17% year-over-year.

Snap provided revenue guidance for the first quarter of 2020, saying it expects to generate between $450 million and $470 million, ahead of analysts expectations of $462 million for the period.

"Our advertisers are generally retaining well and increasing their spend as we continue to demonstrate this meaningful ROI," Snap Chief Business Officer Jeremi Gorman said on a call with analysts. "We have a lot of opportunity to get new advertisers primarily through education of the market."

Asked if the company's goal is to reach full-year profitability for 2020, Snap Chief Financial Officer Derek Andersen told analysts "This is obviously an objective that the entire leadership team is pushing towards."

Despite stiff competition from Facebook and up-start TikTok, Snap has managed to continue growing its user base while ramping up ad sales by putting a focus on young users and augmented reality technology.

In December, the company released a new feature of looping videos called Cameos. Speaking with analysts Spiegel said the feature "has a lot of potential to drive growth."

"Over time as more and more members of our community discover Cameos, they'll get really excited about it," he said. 

Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal is an investor in Snap.