Snap, the Snapchat parent, closed the day down just 1% Monday after the first phase of the dreaded lockup expiration, which meant that some insiders are now eligible to sell shares. The anticipation of a big selloff had been putting downward pressure on the stock for weeks, but it appears that enough of that fear was already built into the stock price to withstand day one.
But while venture investors and co-founders were able to sell shares today, many employees are still locked up until later in August. There’s also a quarterly earnings report before then.
This means that the next few weeks will still pose significant uncertainty for Snap investors. A positive earnings report on August 10 could send shares rising, but a lot of employees may exercise their right to sell shares once they are allowed to on August 14, which could send it back down. But if the next lockup period sees little movement, investors may breathe a sigh of relief and the stock could regain momentum.
It is not uncommon for stocks to face volatility in the first few months as a public company. But some say Snap’s timing was off, because competitor Instagram found significant success after copying its “stories” feature.
Bulls of Snap point out that Facebook also struggled in its early days as public company, but over the past five years the stock has at least quadrupled. Twitter, on the other hand, saw its stock surge in its first few months post-IPO. Investors lost enthusiasm amid slowed user growth and the share price has since seen steep declines.
Snap priced its IPO at $17 per share in early March. The stock closed Monday at $13.67.