July 23, 2019 / 8:13 PM / 5 months ago

Snap user growth on a roll as new app clicks

July 23 (Reuters) - Snap Inc's Snapchat on Tuesday added more users for a second straight quarter and beat analysts' estimates for revenue, getting a boost from a better version of its Android app and the launch of a new augmented reality photo lenses.

The company said the number of daily active users rose to 203 million in the second quarter ended June 30 from 190 million in the prior quarter. The user metric was also up from 188 million a year earlier.

The latest figure, widely watched by investors and advertisers, beat analysts' average estimate of 192.2 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

After struggling last year with shrinking users and high executive turnover, Snap finally returned to growth in the first quarter. In recent months, it scored wins with its augmented reality lenses and the launch of mobile games within Snapchat in partnership with game developers such as Zynga Inc.

One such lens, which allow users to change their gender in photos, has gone viral among Snapchat users.

"The popularity of these lenses drew millions of people into our rebuilt Android application, where they experienced the new and improved Snapchat that led to increased engagement," Chief Executive Officer Evan Spiegel said in prepared remarks.

Snap's revenue, which it earns from selling advertising on the app, jumped about 48% to $388 million and beat Wall Street's average estimate of $359.7 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Snapchat has been largely untouched by privacy issues plaguing Facebook Inc and Google's YouTube, two of Snap's rivals for digital ad dollars, because of its disappearing messages that make it difficult to broadcast misinformation or unsavory content.

Snap expects daily active users to be between 205 million and 207 million in the third quarter, Chief Financial Officer Derek Andersen said.

Of the 13 million daily active users Snap gained during the second quarter, seven million to nine million were from the new augmented reality lenses, Andersen said.

Average revenue per user jumped more than 36% to $1.91 in the quarter.

Net loss narrowed to $255.2 million, or 19 cents per share, from $353.3 million, or 27 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company lost 6 cents per share.

Snap expects third quarter revenue in the range of $410 million to $435 million. Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $402.1 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. (Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru and Sheila Dang in New York; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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