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Coinbase Gains as Analysts See Earnings Outlook as ‘Promising’

Coinbase Global rises after the biggest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange gets a thumbs up from analysts, who see the company's future user growth as 'promising.'

Coinbase Global  (COIN) - Get Coinbase Global Inc Report shares were stable on Friday after the biggest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange reported net income that exceeded analysts’ estimates and boosted its 2021 outlook, with analysts giving the newly public company a definitive thumbs up.

Delaware-based Coinbase reported its first quarterly results as a public company after the bell Thursday, posting net income for the first three months of 2021 of $771 million, or $3.05 a share, up from $32 million a year ago. 

Revenue totaled $1.8 billion, up from $191 million. Both the net income and revenue numbers exceeded analysts' forecasts.

Coinbase said it now has more than 56 million verified users, including more than 8,000 institutions. Retail Monthly Transacting Users (MTUs) grew to 6.1 million in the quarter, more than doubling from the fourth quarter of 2020.

Coinbase's earnings are another cog in a confusing wheel for crypto novices, where market veterans unfamiliar with how digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin work remain perplexed about what's driving prices higher.

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Yet for crypto believers and enthusiasts, it’s been affirmation of a new digital way to pay for goods and services, store value and hedge against rising prices - even as volatility and confusion continue to reign over what digital currencies and assets are, and what their use is.

Coinbase itself cautioned investors on that front on Thursday, noting that despite its strong first-quarter results, “… the rapid expansion of the cryptoeconomy also creates challenges,” particularly as competition continues to heat up.

Still, analysts called Coinbase’s results “strong,” zeroing in on the exchange’s MTU figures, which Mizuho analysts noted have “never been more promising.” The firm has a $315 one-year price target and a neutral rating on the stock.

Piper Sandler focused on Coinbase’s “early mover advantage” as it continues to build its brand and credibility, which it expects will continue to attract users by supporting additional types of crypto assets. They also have a neutral rating and a $335 one-year price target.

At last check, shares of Coinbase were up 1.4% at $268.82.