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Axios Visuals

Snap Inc., the parent company of camera app Snapchat, saw its stock rise nearly 16% in after-hours trading Wednesday, after the company reported record revenues and lowered the margins on its losses.

Why it matters: Wall Street was looking for consistency from Snapchat last quarter, after a tumultuous year in which it lost several high-level executives, suffered a few internal leaks, and faced blowback for the rollout of an app redesign.

By the numbers, per CNBC:

  • Loss per share: 4 cents vs. 7 cents forecast by Refinitiv
  • Revenue: $390 million vs. $378 million forecast by Refinitiv
  • Average revenue per user: $2.09 vs. $2.05 forecast by FactSet
  • Global daily active users: 186 million vs. 184.26 million forecast by FactSet

Yes, but: The company reported that growth of its user base has basically been flat, but that was better than actually losing ground, as it did the previous quarter.

Be smart: Record revenues and lowered losses were expected. The company typically posts higher ad revenues in the fourth quarter of the year, thanks to holiday ad demand. The company's recently departed CFO Tim Stone said upon his departure that the company expected to come in near the top end of guidance for Q4.

  • "We are substantially closer to achieving profitability, with our Q4 adjusted EBITDA loss of $50 million representing a 68% improvement when compared to Q4 of last year," CEO Evan Spiegel said in prepared remarks.
  • The company had said in its last earnings report that it expected an EBITDA loss of $75 million to $100 million.
  • Operating expenses in the quarter were down 9% year‐over‐year.

The big picture: Wall Street has been skeptical of Snapchat's ability to grow its user base after a year of stalled growth, partially attributable to a redesign and also to the company's efforts to redevelop its technology to better serve Android users globally.

  • Spiegel said the company is focused on building a foundation for Snap to grow over the long term by "driving sustainable product innovation, scaling our advertising platform, and hiring the leadership team that will help us achieve our future goals."

New stats: The company now says it reaches 70% of the total 13- to 34-year-old U.S. population with premium mobile video ads on a monthly basis.

  • On average, it says over 70% of users played with or viewed a "Lens," Snapchat's form of augmented reality, every day.
  • Following its redesign, Spiegel says in prepared remarks that 30% more people are now watching Snapchat's "Publisher Stories and Shows" (video content) every day compared to last year.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Satellite imagery of the Northeastern U.S. taken by NOAA on Jan. 17. Photo: NOAA

A major winter storm lashed much of the East Coast Sunday and Monday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The latest: Authorities in North Carolina confirmed that two people died in a car crash and that they responded 600 vehicle accidents during the storm on Sunday, per the Washington Post.

Texas abortion law remains in effect after appeals court ruling

Pro- and anti-abortion protesters outside the Supreme Court as arguments begin about the Texas abortion law on Capitol Hill in November. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A U.S. appeals court transferred a challenge to Texas' law banning most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy to the state supreme court in a 2-1 vote on Monday evening.

Why it matters: The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision means the country's most restrictive abortion law can remain in place for the time being.

5 hours ago - World

At least 2 dead after Tonga volcano eruption and tsunami

A satellite image of the explosive eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano on Saturday. Photo: UNICEF/NOAA

At least two people are confirmed to have died in Tonga following the undersea volcanic eruption that sent tsunami waves toward the island nation and across the Pacific over the weekend, officials said Monday.

The big picture: Officials reported major damage along the western coast of the main island of Tongatapu, where the capital, Nuku'alofa, was covered in ash and dust, including on the runway of the airport. A New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson told Axios over the phone that two people had been confirmed to have died in the disaster.