Snap loses $2.2 billion (yes, billion) in earnings debut

From CNET: The social media app and "camera company" behind Snapchat is a cryptic one. Hell, if you're over the age of 35, you probably don't even know how it works.

And while we got a sense of its performance in over the past two years through its Securities and Exchange Commission filing for its initial public offering, Snap's first-ever quarterly earnings report released Wednesday offers a glimpse into how it's doing now.

The big question has been whether Snap will sink or swim against social media sharks like Facebook. The hype around Snapchat's ability to attract teens and millennials propelled the company ahead of its IPO. But the company faces stiff competition from Facebook and its Instagram unit, which aren't afraid to play copycat.

The imitation game might have taken its toll. Snap posted daily active users of 166 million, jumping up from the 150 million active users it had during its IPO and 122 million from a year ago.

But in comparison, Instagram said in April that it had more than 200 million users on Stories.

Snap said on Wednesday that it lost $2.2 billion, or $2.31 a share, compared with a loss of $104.6 million, or 14 cents a share, the previous year. Why the crazy big loss? The results include nearly $2 billion in stock-based payouts.

Revenue rose nearly four-fold from a year ago to $149.6 million. The company said its average revenue per user rose to 90 cents, or nearly triple its year-ago average revenue of 32 cents. Snap Chief Financial Officer Andrew Vollero confirmed that its Spectacles glasses generated more than $8 million in revenue.

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