Snap shares rise as company reports first-ever cash profit

Snap said its daily active users reached 280 million, a 22% year-over-year increase, and said it expects the same rate of growth this quarter.

Disappearing messages pioneer Snap this afternoon reported Q1 revenue and profit that topped analysts' expectations, and an outlook that was higher for this quarter's revenue, and said it booked its first-ever quarterly cash profit.

Snap said its daily active users rose to 280 million, compared to Wall Street's expectations for 274.6 million.

Snap's cash flow after accounting for fixed investments was $131 million, the first time the company has ever been free cash flow positive, it said.

The report initially sent Snap shares down about 3% in late trading, but the stock turned around to rally 5%. 

CEO and founder Evan Spiegel remarked that Snap "began 2021 by achieving our highest year-over-year revenue and daily active user growth rates in over three years during the quarter, and delivering positive Free Cash Flow for the first time in Snap's history as a public company. 

"The strength of our business underscores our relentless focus on product innovation and is a testament to our team's ability to execute well together over the long term," said Spiegel.

Revenue in the three months ended in March rose 66%, year over year, to $770 million million, yielding a break-even result on the net profit line.

Analysts had been modeling $744 million and a net loss of 5 cents per share.

Snap's operating loss, expressed as adjusted Ebitda, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, came in at negative $2 million, it said.

For the current quarter, the company sees revenue of $820 million to $840 million, and Ebitda in a range of negative $20 million to breakeven. That compares to consensus for $826 million and a $2 million Ebitda loss.

During a conference call with analsyts following the report, Snap said it expects to record the same 22% growth rate for its daily average users this quarter.

"As we look forward to Q2, we estimate that DAU will grow at a rate consistent with the prior quarter, or approximately 22% year-over-year, to reach 290M in Q2," the company said. That is above the 282 million Wall Street has been modeling.