Lyft Inc. (LYFT) - Get Lyft Inc Class A Report shares sank below their original listing price on the second full-day of trading on the Nasdaq Monday, following the ride-sharing group's blockbuster IPO last week, the biggest in five years, that raised $2.34 billion and dominated Wall Street trading.
Lyft shares soared as much as 23% at one stage Friday, hitting a record high $87.24 each as investors piled in to buy shares in the listing, which was 22 times oversubscribed giving the San Francisco, California-based group a market value of more than $22.25 billion.
Monday's trading, however, saw the shares dive 11.85% to close at $69.01, well below the IPO price of $72 a share amid speculation that Uber Technologies's upcoming listing would sap demand for shares of its smaller rival.
Still, market pros, including TheStreet's founder Jim Cramer, praised Lyft's bookrunners, who managed to control the flow of more than 500 institutional orders and a surge in retail interest to deliver a solid, but not outrageous, opening day gain that bodes well for the wave of tech IPOs, including Lyft's larger rival Uber Technologies, later in the year.
"The $87 price could have been far worse," Cramer noted in his Real Money column Friday, citing his experience with TheStreet's initial listing on the Nasdaq during the dot-com boom. "There could have s wave of orders that would have driven this stock as high as $100 but the syndicate desks released some of the buyers from their positions to actually try to keep the stock down so as not to create losses for those who bought at the opening."
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Lyft priced 32.5 million shares at that level, raising just over $2.3 billion ahead of a line-up of more than 300 companies preparing to list over the coming year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, that could attract as much as $50 billion from investors around the world.
Benjamin Stoto, research director for CNBC's Mad Money team, says Lyft is "on the right side of secular demographic shifts" but also suffers from red flags from "a lack of profitability to a voting rights structure that, while increasingly common, we're not big fans of."
"Obviously, the thing that stands out from the Lyft IPO in general - the reason this is such an exciting deal - is the company's outsized growth profile," Stoto noted, citing revenue growth of 103% year-on-year, at $2.16 billion, in 2018.
However, he also cautioned that "to keep what is sure to be a highly-valued stock on track, (Lyft) will need to stay on trend here, continuously improving its margins and, eventually, turning them positive."
Much the same can be said for Uber, a company that is expected to be valued at $120 billion when it lists later this spring, but has nonetheless failed to turn a profit as single-ride prices continue to be subsidized by the company's early investors, including Japan's Softbank Group (SFTBY) and Amazon Inc. (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report founder Jeff Bezos.
Lyft's listing might be unique, in that it's not only the largest since Alibaba Holding's (BABA) - Get Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Sponsored ADR Report debut in 2014, but it's also the precursor to such an enormous wall of money waiting to tap a slew of "new economy" companies.