Snap Inc (SNAP) Earnings

Evan Spiegel

Snapchat is starting to turn things around, boosting its sluggish user growth rate and beating Wall Street's expectations for the first time with today's Q4 2017 earnings report.

Snap added 8.9 million daily users during the three months, up 5% to 187 million-the largest addition of users since the third quarter of 2016, when it was still a privately held company.

But revenues were better than expected, jumping 72 percent year-on-year to $286 million.

Shares of Snap, the parent company of teen app darling Snapchat, skyrocketed following some rare good news for the company.

For the full year, Snap's revenue rose to $825m, more than double the $404m it made last year.

The company has also suffered from unfavorable comparisons to Facebook Inc.'s Instagram, which is rapidly expanding and aggressively copying Snapchat's most-popular features.

The Venice, California-based company posted a net loss of $350 million, or 28 cents per share, compared to a loss of $170 million, or 20 cents per share, a year earlier. Snap continues to have high spending, losing almost $350 million in the fourth quarter of 2017.

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Spiegel said early feedback shows the redesign makes the app easier to user, "especially for older users".

Chief Executive Evan Spiegel said the company benefited from a transition of its ad business to an auction model and from improvements to the version of Snapchat that runs on Android phones, among other changes.

In the year since it went public, Snap has struggled to grow.

Analysts were expecting the company to add 6 million users during the fourth quarter.

Even though Snap wasn't vocal about its release, Snapchat's new Do Not Disturb comes at a time when more people in the tech industry are talking about smartphone addiction. Spiegel said in prepared remarks that were released alongside today's earnings that "Our business really came together towards the end of a year ago".

The announcement late past year that Snap meant to completely rebuild the Snapchat app has been welcomed by frustrated users.

Investors were snapping up shares in after-hours trading, with Snap's stock rocketing 25 percent to about $17.60 a share - coming in above its IPO price from last March.

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