NBCU’s Snap and Peloton Investments Become Cautionary Tales

    • NBC Universal invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Snap and Peloton, later selling off those stakes.
    • Had they held, their shares would have grown by around $2.7 billion.

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Sometimes, you guess wrong — but Comcast-owned NBCUniversal doesn’t want it to become a habit.

NBCU bought $500 million worth of Snap stock at its IPO in 2017 and roughly broke even when it later sold those shares — saying it had lost $268 million on the investment in 2018, then gained $293 million in 2019.

If only NBCU had held on: Snap has more than quadrupled in price as of Friday from the start of the year. Selling those same shares today would have brought in around $2 billion.

It’s a similar story with Peloton. Just seven months after the connected fitness company went public in September 2019, NBCU sold half its stake in Peloton for $178 million. In July 2020, an SEC filing revealed that NBCU had sold the rest of its stake.

Peloton’s stock price has roughly quadrupled since the sale, even after a recent two-week slide. NBCU sold all of its Peloton stock for just under $400 million, per securities filings. Those shares would have been worth around $1.6 billion when a share of Peloton hit $154 last month.

NBCU remains connected to Snap, continuing to partner on content, as it did for the 2016 and 2018 Olympics, and maintaining a shared studio to produce original content.

Looking ahead, NBCU is aggressively pursuing streaming, and making live sports a key part of the strategy. Its Peacock service recently acquired exclusive rights to WWE content. The five-year deal is valued at more than $1 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.