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Cue the “oh snap” jokes.

Snap’s first quarterly results as a public company are out, and it fell short of Wall Street forecasts on both revenues and user numbers. Its shares lost as much as a fifth of their value in after-hours trading.

The maker of the Snapchat app reported revenue growth of 286 per cent to $149.6m, but analysts had been expecting almost $10m more than that, with the consensus hovering around $158m.

Daily active users, which have been a cause for concern as Facebook and Instagram copied many of Snapchat’s features, were up 36 per cent year on year to 166m. Investors, however, were looking for 167-170m.

On the brighter side, average revenue per user (ARPU) — a metric Snap has encouraged investors to focus on as it grows its nascent advertising business — was $0.90, up 181 per cent and a bit better than some analysts were expecting; Jefferies, for instance, pegged their estimates at $0.86. ARPU for the three months to March was down 14 per cent from the fourth quarter’s $1.05, which is typically a stronger season for advertising given holiday sales.

Analysts are not expecting Snap to post a profit until 2019 at the earliest. Net losses for the quarter were $2.2bn, much of that due to one-off IPO costs and stock-based compensation. Even after adjusting for that, losses before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation were still deeper than analysts anticipated at $188.2m. Capital expenditures jumped from $12.4m to $18.0m year on year.

Shares in Snap were volatile in after-hours trading, falling as much as 21 per cent to $18.09, a new all-time low since it went public in March.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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