Coinbase optimism on Wall Street battles bitcoin weakness
INTERNATIONAL - Coinbase Global fluctuated for a third day, with its shares failing to draw the level of investor enthusiasm seen after Wednesday's direct listing.
The stock rose as much as 2.3 percent to trade at $330 (R4723.16) at 9:50 a.m. in New York after initially churning between gains and losses. Coinbase came back after another bullish review from Wall Street analysts, and despite weakness for cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin.
The biggest US cryptocurrency exchange, with a market value of roughly $65 billion, boasts a price more than 30 percent higher than the reference price of $250 at offering. But its first-day strength, when shares soared as high as $429.54 in the first few minutes of trading, was fleeting.
Loop Capital Markets analyst Kenneth Hill became the latest analyst to advise clients to buy shares of the exchange, highlighting "lots of runway" for the company ahead of a "takeoff." Hill is the fifth analyst to rate the shares at a buy; however, his $394 12-month price target is the lowest on Wall Street.
Skeptics have warned of risks ranging from growing competition to Bitcoin's volatility, but some investors see opportunity. Cathie Wood's funds have snapped up about $352 million worth of shares over two days and there are expectations for the company to become a staple in money managers' portfolios.
"Coinbase's market valuation may seem excessive to some given the prospects of increased competition in digital wallets business, which should rapidly eat into Coinbase's sweet profit margins," Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote, wrote in emailed comments. "On the other hand, the competition is not here yet, while large trading volumes continue boosting Coinbase's revenues for the moment."
All five of the analysts that cover the company rate it at a buy, with an average price target of $521, implying shares have another 60 percent to run from Thursday's close, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
DA Davidson analyst Gil Luria raised the firm's price target to a Street-high of $650 and touted the company's "regulatory-friendly" approach to the nascent market.
Bitcoin fell as much as 5.3 percent to $60,063, after coming close to hitting $65,000 per token earlier this week.