Pinterest slumps nearly 14% after weak forecast

Shares of online scrapbook Pinterest plunged 13.5 percent Friday after its first-ever earnings report rattled investors’ faith that profits may be around the corner. The disappointing report took some of the shine off of Pinterest’s stellar initial public offering last month. Until Thursday, shares of the company had risen 62 percent since the April 18 debut. The earnings report comes on the heels of the public debuts of Uber and Lyft, two other money-losing start-ups, whose early trajectory has not been nearly as positive as Pinterest’s. The company, which brings in revenue through ads that are interspersed among user posts on its site, forecast full-year revenue of $1.05 billion to $1.08 billion — which was in line with analyst expectations. But its reported loss of 33 cents per share spooked Wall Street, which was expecting a loss of only 11 cents per share. Analysts, however, remained unphased by the numbers, and expressed confidence in the company’s future. “We continue to believe that Pinterest’s early-stage international and self-serve offerings provide meaningful growth drivers over time, but they require strong, sustained execution and Pinterest cannot simply flip a switch on either one,” JPMorgan analysts said in a statement. Two brokerage groups said it would take the company at least two years to become profitable. “We see low daily engagement relative to peers will limit average revenue per user potential,” said Rosenblatt Securities analyst Mark Zgutowicz. Most brokerages are positive on the stock, with four of them rating the stock a “buy” or higher, and only one recommending “sell.” Twelve brokerages have a “hold” rating. In the first quarter, Pinterest’s net loss narrowed to $41.4 million in the quarter ended March 31 from $52.7 million a year earlier. The stock closed down Friday $4.16 a share, to $26.70.

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