On Friday, Lyft debuted their first day of trading amid much excitement. The initial public offering was $72 a share which the company immediately surpassed.
Their shares immediately jumped up 20 percent and fell through the day, closing with an eight percent gain. Then on Monday, the stock fell more than nine percent and dropped below its IPO price.
There is a lot of excitement following Lyft’s IPO but some analysts are wary, saying there are still many questions about the company’s valuation. Guggenheim analyst Jake Fuller gave Lyft a neutral rating, highlighting several key issues the company will need to address to move forward.
Questions linger about Lyft’s path to profitability
The biggest concern surrounding Lyft is the company’s path to profitability. The company is hopeful that autonomous vehicles could eventually help them reduce the costs of paying drivers. But deploying self-driving cars on a large scale is still many years away from being a reality.
For the time being, the company is dependent on finding and retaining drivers. But Lyft has a tenuous relationship with many of its drivers. Just last week in Los Angeles, both Lyft and Uber drivers organized a strike over recent pay cuts.
And the company is fighting the implementation of a minimum wage law for drivers in New York which would give drivers an extra $5 per hour. Lyft and Uber are pushing back against the rule, saying it will make rides more expensive for customers.
Lyft lost $911 million in 2018, which is a lot for a company that went public just a year later. So it’s unclear how the company will be able to increase its revenue in the short-term and become profitable.
Lyft still shows signs of promise
In spite of this uncertainty, Lyft still shows signs of promise and many investors believe it will be profitable down the road. The company has a much more singular focus than Uber, which has also experimented with food delivery. And Lyft has taken both drivers and market share from Uber.
Lyft’s revenue per ride has been increasing, which is a positive sign. And in 2018, the company doubled its revenue to $2.2 billion.
Lyft’s future success will largely depend on its ability to sustain its revenue growth and invest in things like self-driving cars. If it can do this, then it may be able to drive its valuation higher.