Pinterest delivers first earnings report as a public companyMay 16, 2019
The company, led by co-founder and chief executive officer Ben Silbermann, posted revenues of $202 million on losses of $41.4 million for the three months ending March 31, 2019. This surpassed Wall Street’s revenue estimates of about $200 million and represented significant growth from last year’s Q1 revenues of $131 million. Losses, however, came in roughly three times higher than estimates at 32 cents per share.
The digital pinboard went public in April, rising 25% during its first day trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Pinterest’s public market performance has continued to stay in the green, closing up about 8% Thursday at nearly $31 per share for a market cap of $16.7 billion.
“The IPO was a significant milestone, but our focus at Pinterest hasn’t changed,” Silbermann said in a statement. “We want to help people discover inspiring ideas for every aspect of their lives, from fashion and home decor to travel and fitness. Our success can be seen in our Q1 results, and we’re excited to continue to grow our reach and impact in the years to come.”
Pinterest sold 75 million Class A shares in an IPO that raised $1.4 billion at a fully diluted market cap of $12.6 billion, a figure slightly larger than its Series H valuation of $12.3 billion. This was amid concerns the company would see a slighter smaller valuation upon its IPO and gain the unseemly title of “undercorn.”
Pinterest previously disclosed revenues of $755.9 million in the year ending December 31, 2018, up from $472.8 million in 2017. Losses, meanwhile, shrank to $62.9 million last year from $130 million in 2017. For the full year 2019, Pinterest, which is expected to reach profitability by 2021, predicts revenues of between $1.05 billion and $1.08 billion.
Pinterest post-IPO performance comes in stark contrast to both Lyft and Uber’s treatment on their respective stock exchanges. Lyft, for its part, has fallen since its IPO despite an initial pop of 21%. In its first-ever earnings report as a public company, released last week, it posted first-quarter revenues of $776 million on losses of $1.14 billion, including $894 million of stock-based compensation and related payroll tax expenses. The company’s revenues surpassed Wall Street estimates of $740 million while losses came in much higher as a result of IPO-related expenses.
Uber suffered through a catastrophic IPO last week only to continue falling in the days since. The ride-hailing giant was previously valued at $72 billion by venture capitalists on the private market. It priced its stock at $45 a share for an $82.4 billion valuation last week. The company closed Thursday trading at about $43 per share for a market cap of $72.5 billion.
Pinterest’s disruptive digital advertising business appears to be more attractive to Wall Street than ride-hailing. In addition to delivering surpassing revenue estimates on Thursday, Pinterest displayed user growth. The company now counts 291 million monthly active users, a 22% increase from Q1 2018. Pinterest continues to gain global users, growing an impressive 29% in the last year. The U.S., however, remains the company’s core market, where average revenue per user (ARPU) grew 41%, to $2.25.
Pinterest was undeterred by skeptics, who predicted its nice-guy image and history of slower growth would make for a poor-performing public company. Today, its market cap has surpassed Lyft, which was worth billions more before the two companies transitioned into the public markets.
How long Pinterest can stay in the green remains to be seen.