UPDATED 21:40 EDT / APRIL 01 2019


Lyft shares fall below IPO price on second day of trading

The wheels have fallen off Lyft Inc.’s initial public offering as its share price plunged Monday, its second day of trading after going public on Friday.

After initially popping 8.7% on debut to close Friday at $78.29, shares dropped 11% to close today at $69.01, $2.99 below its IPO price of $72 per share.

As CNBC noted, this “isn’t how IPOs are supposed to work” since even if momentum often slows after a first-day pop, dropping below its listing price so soon is much rarer and indicative of investor skepticism.

Skepticism about Lyft’s prospects going forward would seem to be the key with questions as to its lack of profitability. Lyft, like rival Uber Technologies Inc. bleeds money, having reported a loss of $911 million on revenue of $2.2 billion in 2018. Worse, Lyft’s accounts show that the amount of money lost is rising, not falling.

That said, investors knew that before Lyft went public. One driving force behind the instability in Lyft’s share price is that it has no listed peers on equities markets, meaning that investors may be struggling to work out how to value it.

“This is a pivotal few weeks of trading ahead to gauge street demand for the name as valuation and profitability continue to be the wild cards for tech investors,” Dan Ives, managing director of equity research for Wedbush Securities, told Fortune. “This is a major gut check time for Lyft and the tech IPO world to see how this stock trades given it was the first one out of the box.”

Although Lyft may remain peerless on equities markets for now, that won’t remain so for much longer. Uber could possibly going public as early as mid-April.

A much larger business concern than Lyft, Uber does share some fundamental similarities in that it’s burning money and it reported a loss of $1.8 billion in 2018.

Analyst are looking to Lyft for guidance as to how Uber might perform on debut. But if a drop like today is a sign of things to come, investor confidence in the sector may not be as high as previously presumed.

Photo: Lyft

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