Snap shares rise after analyst upgrade, saying recent executive hires will improve results

The big dip in Snap’s stock is a great buying opportunity, according to Wedbush Securities.

The firm raised its rating to outperform from neutral for Snap shares, saying the company’s recent executive changes will lead to stronger results.

“In our view, the change in top management positions the company to significantly improve its execution, and its valuation suggests upside from current levels,” analyst Michael Pachter said in a note to clients Tuesday. “Key hires and execution over the past six months suggest increased focus on shareholder value.”

Snap shares are up 1.6 percent in Tuesday’s premarket session.

The company’s shares are significantly underperforming this year, down 33 percent through Monday versus the S&P 500’s 8 percent gain.

Pachter raised his price target to $12.25 from $11.50 for Snap shares, representing 26 percent upside to Monday’s closing price.

The analyst is impressed with the company’s recent financial executive hires. He noted Snap’s new chief financial officer, Tim Stone, had nearly two decades of experience at Amazon before joining the company in May.

On Monday Snap shares fell 1.9 percent after the company announced its chief strategy officer Imran Khan is leaving the company.

“The departure of Mr. Khan makes Mr. Stone both more visible and more vital in our view, and gives us confidence that corporate governance will improve and have a measurable impact on the development of and articulation of the company’s strategy,” he said.

Pachter also noted Snap’s new investor relations executive, Kristin Southey, who served in a similar role at Activision Blizzard for 15 years.

Southey “professionalizes the IR function, and increases our confidence that a unified and clear message will be articulated to shareholders,” he said.

Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal is an investor in Snap.

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