Snap Shares Defy Lockup Expiration Concerns and Rise
Shares of Snap Inc slid slightly more than 4 percent in Monday morning trades—to $13.40—as the company reached the expiration of its first lockup period from last weekend. Indeed, for the first time, approximately 400 million shares were eligible for trading for the very first time. Before the opening bell on Monday, shares were trading at an all-time low.
The lockup period, which was 150 days long, now expired, early investors and insiders who bought in at the launch can start to sell their shares. This early-adopter group includes, of course, Snap’s CEO Evan Spiegel and CTO Bobby Murphy as well as venture capitalist firms like Benchmark Capital and Lightspeed Ventures.
Currently, Snap is floating at around 188 million shares, so the influx of 400 million potential shares could disrupt the near-term supply/demand dynamic. It is important to note that, historically, companies have seen major stock shifts after the lock up period expiration.
“Notably, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook all bottomed within a week of their lockup expirations, a bias that points to getting directionally long SNAP down here,” explains MKM derivatives strategist Jim Strugger.
“Often you can see these lockup expirations be more of a bottoming event for stocks rather than a negative event,” comments Michael Graham of Canaccord Genuity. “There’s a lot of negative sentiment going into an event like this and in this case it will stretch out for several weeks. It does take some time, usually, for the shares to get into the market. I think the more important thing for Snap is to show some execution when they report next Thursday.”
Now, we have to acknowledge that Snap did not satisfy analyst expectations following its first earnings report, in May. This was mostly due to some of its features quickly being imitated by big online rival Facebook. Comparably, Snap added only 8 million new users in the quarter; Facebook added 59 million, globally.
At the same time, not everyone shares this positive outlook. Barclays, for example, is noting that some investors will wait until the shares bottom out and then take advantage of the post-lock-up period.
The agency says, “The negativity in the past few months around SNAP ahead of its lock up expiration is creating an opportunity in our view. We would wait until the heavy lock up volume subsides to add to positions, likely sometime mid 3Q.”