Evan Spiegel, CEO of messaging app Snap, sold $50m-worth of his own shares last week just days after the company reported better-than-expected results.
Snap reported a 72% increase in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2017, year on year, to $285.7m, while revenue for the full year was $824.9m, a 104% increase.
The announcement saw Snap’s share price soar more than 30%, with analysts surprised by the 5% increase in the app’s user-base in Q4.
At around the same time, Spiegel sold 2.7 million shares, according to US website Recode, although the report said it was part of a pre-arranged sales plan used by executives to avoid concerns over insider trading.
The shares represented only just over 1% of his holding in Snap.
Despite Snap’s increased earnings, the company still made a net loss of $350m in Q4 2017 and a $3.4bn loss on the full year, although that included a $2.6bn write-off for employee stock compensation.
Winning battle for younger users
The big plus from the end-of-year results was the increase in its user base, as Snap fights Facebook-owned Instagram for market share.
The number of daily active users increased 8.9 million to 187 million in Q4, the highest net adds since the third quarter in 2016.
Research last week from eMarketer confirmed the trend, suggesting Facebook is losing the battle for younger messaging app users.
The figures showed that in 2018, the number of US Facebook users aged 11 and younger is set to decline by 9.3%, while the number of users aged 12-17 and 18-24 will fall by 5.6% and 5.8%, respectively.
The research predicts Snapchat will add 1.9 million users under 24, compared with 1.6 million for Instagram, and will continue to have more users ages 12 to 24.