Uber Stock Is Now At Its Lowest Point Ever, And There Is A Time Bomb Coming
Today shares of the world's top ride-hailing platform, Uber, have hit a new all-time low of $28.02 which means early investors have lost over 35% since IPO day.
In short, Uber trimmed the massive loss it reported during the second quarter, but its food-delivery business is looking bad, and its overall bookings growth is slowing down faster than expected which caused alarm among analysts and investors alike.
Uber ticking time bomb: Lockup period
Early uber investors were prohibited from selling their shares due to a "lockup period." Shareholders (early investors and insiders) haven't been able to sell their shares due to a 6-month (after IPO) lockup interval.
About 1 billion Uber shares have been locked up out of a total of 1.7 billion outstanding. Tomorrow that 6-month period expires and an additional 1 billion uber shares will become available to the general public.
The major concern is that a glut of shares flooding the market would drive prices down which probably added some fuel to the sell-off we witnessed today.
However, there are some reasons the lockup period expiring tomorrow might not tank the stock even further. If Uber was sitting well north of its IPO price, many investors would be tempted to liquidate their shares in the company for a nice profit.
Well we know that isn't the case. Uber is down nearly a third from its IPO price. According to Uber's IPO prospectus, about half of the 1 billion locked shares were purchased at $33 or higher. This means that at least half of the stock that is getting opened up tomorrow is underwater (valued at less than it was purchased for).
It speaks to reason that these buyers would want to wait for prices to recover before liquidating their positions. Of course, it depends on how you manage risk. Some may be worried about the value of Uber plummeting even more, so expect some volume to still move tomorrow as shareholders look to cash out.
CEO Khosrowshahi is claiming total company (EBITDA) profitability by 2021. If that should come to pass, Uber would be valued at multiple times more than it is currently - and early sellers might look back on selling for a hefty loss with regret. For those who don't know, EBITDA stands for earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization.
What will Wednesday bring? A mass sell-off as early investors panic and rush to cash out? Or will they stay the course hoping for a price rebound?
It will be interesting to see, Uber currently has 3.4% short interest so not many people are betting against it despite all the headwinds.