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Why Did Snap Inc. Stock Gain Today?

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Shares of Snap Inc. (SNAP - Free Report) gained more than 5% in morning trading Thursday after the social media company, which has struggled to garner any positive momentum since its IPO earlier this year, received two favorable analyst reports.

On Wednesday, Credit Suisse analyst Stephen Ju raised his price target for Snap to $20 from $17. Citing increased user engagement on the company’s flagship Snapchat messaging platform, Ju’s new call implies a nearly 40% upside from Tuesday’s close.

Fellow Wall Street research firm Piper Jaffray also published a favorable note about Snap on Wednesday. While the firm left its price target of $12.50 untouched, its analysts did reveal data suggesting that Snap is crushing its competition in a key age category.

Indeed, Piper Jaffray surveyed 6,100 teens across 44 U.S. states and found that Snapchat is the preferred social media service for 47% of respondents. Facebook (FB - Free Report) and its Instagram platform were preferred by just 9% and 24% of the teens, while Twitter (TWTR - Free Report) and Pinterest garnered support of 7% and 1%, respectively.

According to Piper Jaffrey, Snapchat’s favorability among teens has risen from just 11% in the spring of 2015 to the 47% it sits at today, and it is the only platform measured by the firm that has won over more respondents in this category during that timeframe.

Heading forward, the teen demographic will be incredibly important for Snap, especially as advertisers and media creators improve their ability to make relevant content tailored for Snapchat. And despite Facebook’s rampant copying of Snapchat’s core features, it appears that America’s youth is sticking with the original disappearing picture messaging application.

The positive analyst reports come on the back of even more encouraging news for Snap. We recently learned that Snapchat has seen a 40% increase in Stories submissions since launching its Map feature in June, and earlier this week, the company unveiled another location-based service: Context Cards.

Thanks to a partnership with TripAdvisor (TRIP), Foursquare, OpenTable, Uber, Lyft, and more, Context Cards allow users to view information related to places that are geotagged to images or videos uploaded on the application. It will also enable users to reserve a table at a restaurant and book a ride to a location (also read: Snap Launches New Context Cards Feature to Simplify Search).

As mentioned, Snapchat’s Stories feature has been copied by several key competitors, but the platform is still popular and its location services are relatively unparalleled. Nevertheless, the stock remains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and sports an overall VGM grade of “D.”

Want more stock market analysis from this author? Make sure to follow @Ryan_McQueeney on Twitter!

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