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Uber's IPO Was Way Different Than Most -- A Brief History

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It seems as if Lyft (LYFT) spoiled Uber's (UBER) party.

Uber was aiming for an IPO price of $45 a share by early morning Friday, its IPO day. But the first trade came in at $42. And that traditional first-day pop, that honey moon phase between the company and the market, never happened. There's a reason, but first let's review a recent history of American tech IPO's.

Facebook, 2012

Facebook (FB) went public in May of 2012, ricing its shares at $38. The stock popped 18% to $45 on the first day of trading. High demand, driven by excitement and media frenzy can often drive the demand. Then, the stock cooled off and hit $19 in November that year.

It's safe to say the stock recovered.

Snap, 2017

Snap (SNAP) hit the public market at $17 a share in March of 2017, popped 58% to $27 on the first day, and then plummeted to $11 in August that year. The all-time low was just below $5. The stock has been sitting around $10 this year.

Since then, Facebook has stolen Snap's lunch on its stories product, and the unprofitable Snap has been unable to scale to expectations.

Lyft, 2019

Lyft priced at $72 in March of 2019, but its first trade was 20% above that level at $87. The stock then fell quickly, and is now sitting at $51.74. The demand was part of a risk-on picture in the market, as the Nasdaq was reaching new highs.

A vague and unclear path to profitability for Lyft that became quickly clear didn't help the stock, especially as analysts picked up coverage. 

Uber, 2019

Uber and Lyft, two companies that derive the vast majority of their revenue from ride-sharing (Uber has a more diversified business, as noted by WedBush analyst Dan Ives), impact each other. Lyft's post-debut disaster didn't help Uber.

Plus, the Nasdaq has fallen almost 3% since May 3, as President Trump has slapped additional tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, putting a dent in the risk-on and optimistic sentiment that has powered the market this year.

Bad timing for Uber.

Related.The Race to Full Self-Driving Is the Real Finish Line for Uber

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