Facebook would 'love' to acquire Snap if shares drop to $14, says analyst

Snap IPOGettyA ‘Ghostface Chillah’ Snapchat plushie sits next to monitors on the New York Stock Exchange floor.

Facebook would “love” to acquire Snap Inc. if shares dipped to $US14, FBN Securities analyst Shebly Seyrafi said in a note to clients on Thursday.

“One of the key points that the bears on Snap may be missing is that we believe that Facebook would love to acquire the company, and could be willing to pay $US20B+ ($US14/share) for the asset,” Seyrafi writes.

Seyrafi reiterated in an email to Business Insider that his position is purely speculative and not based on inside sources, and warned in his note that cofounders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy “may decide not to sell, even when other investors think that this is the right course of action.”

Spiegel and Murphy collectively wield majority voting rights, and the duo famously rebuffed a $US3 billion offer from Facebook a few years ago.

Citing reasons why Facebook would still want to buy Snap, Seyrafi pointed to the company’s $US22 billion acquisition of WhatsApp, which was not generating meaningful revenue at the time. He noted that Facebook has the balance sheet to make a large acquisition, with $US30 billion in cash and investments on hand at the end of 2016.

Seyrafi said that Facebook buying Snap would “remove one of the very few long-term threats to its business,” given Snapchat’s dominance among millennials and forecasted growth with older demographics. “Several years ago, survey work showed that many teens were disengaging off of Facebook and moving over to Snap, and investors were quite concerned about the long-term ramifications of losing such a key age cohort,” he wrote.

Seyrafi also pointed to Comcast as a potential Snap suitor, citing its NBCUniversal division’s $US500 million investment in Snap during the IPO.

FBN Securities has given Snap a sector perform rating and $US23 price target. Snap has yet to receive a buy rating from any analysts.

Get the latest Snap stock price here.

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