Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) Issuing Non-Voting Shares Threatens To Become A Bigger Issue

Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) Issuing Non-Voting Shares Threatens To Become A Bigger Issue


While Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) took honors for ensuring a successful IPO, the company is struggling to maintain its post-listing success as doubts about its valuation is growing. Aside from that, the issue of non-voting rights is becoming a bigger threat than the company would have thought it to be.

The first and significant obstacle that Snap faces is getting it included in the major indices, be it S&P 500 or MSCI USA index. If reports are to be believed, a group of institutional investors have already approached index providers to bar the company’s entry into the indices. The move came on the back of MSCI offering different opinion on its qualification. That is because MSCI indicated first that the company qualified to be included in MSCI USA Index on March 2 and reversed it the next day to say it would re-assess in May.

There is no doubt some of the fears expressed by institutional investors are true. For instance, they will not have any say in the company’s tactics for its future growth or paying of its management personnel. However, these investors are not just against Snap’s Class A shares only. Their contention is that if the indices include it, then that would enable other companies to come out with a similar move.

Council of Institutional Investors’ deputy director, Amy Borrus, told Business Insider that the council is keen to exclude any new no-vote companies in the indices. The council has plans to meet the index providers to stress its point.

For its part, S&P Dow Jones Indices MD and chairman of a committee that oversee its indices indicated that a company’s stock could be added only after 6 – 12 months from the IPO. Until then, it would study the company’s structure. Requirements for index inclusion of stocks differ. For instance, a company should have reported profit for a minimum of four straight quarters and a market cap of about $5 billion to get included in S&P 500.

The inclusion of stocks in indices meant that portfolio managers may have to buy the stock of such specific index. For instance, if a stock is included in S&P 500, then the portfolio that tracks this index would have to invest in it.

As of now, Snap has not indicated when it would turn into profit. The valuation is also questioned by different analysts. Significantly, no analyst has accorded a Buy rating on the stock. Most of analysts have only rated it either Sell or Hold. Their maximum price target is $22 while the least price tag is $10.

Though Snap pointed out that global advertising market is worth about $652 billion, some analysts are worried whether the company could get the maximum out of the mobile ad market that would be worth about $66 billion. This is predicted to hit $196 billion by 2020, according to Business Insider. The competition is increasing and the company’s potential in generating a bigger share remains a question mark among investors.

At present, Snap needs to do more advertising to defend itself on its growth prospects. Otherwise, the stock could see more selling pressures.