Oh Snap! Social media stocks lose billions after Snapchat parent warning

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A woman stands in front of the logo of Snap Inc on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, NY, US March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

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May 24 (Reuters) – Snap Inc (SNAP.N) shares plunged more than 40% and sparked a sector-wide selloff on Tuesday after a profit warning from the Snapchat parent signaled tough times ahead for the once-booming digital ad industry.

The company was on track to lose $15 billion in market capitalization, while shares of major online advertisers and social-media firms were set to lose a combine $200 billion in value from the rout.

Meta Platforms (FB.O), Pinterest (PINS.N), Twitter (TWTR.N) and Google-parent Alphabet (GOOGL.O) were all down between 7% and 24%.

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Snap said on Monday it was expecting to miss quarterly revenue and profit targets set just a month earlier and would have to slow hiring and lower spending.

The bleak view from one of the sector’s well-known names underlines the impact of the Ukraine war, surging inflation and rising interest rates on social media companies just when they were trying to shake off the hit from changes to Apple’s iOS operating system. read more

“Snap is a proxy for online advertising and when you see weakness there then you automatically think Facebook, Pinterest and Google,” said Dennis Dick, a trader at Bright Trading LLC.

“Once you start thinking about Google, that’s when the markets starts to sell off.”

Tuesday’s selloff comes days after a Bank of America fund managers survey indicated investors are becoming increasingly bearish on tech stocks, a stark reversal to a bullish trend in the past 14 years.

Snap shares were trading at $13.3, lower than their 2017 IPO price of $17.

Analysts said Snap’s outlook for core profit suggested expenses will outpace its revenue growth, given headcount was up 52% ​​in the prior quarter.

“There’s a lot to deal with in the macro environment today,” Chief Executive Officer Evan Spiegel said at a tech conference on Monday.

Macroeconomic situation hits social media firms and digital advertising
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Reporting by Medha Singh and Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru, Additional reporting by Akash Sriram; Editing by Aditya Soni and Anil D’Silva

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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