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Upstart sinks 19% on Q2 results; Citi says underlying funding challenges remain

Published Aug 08, 2023 04:57PM ET Updated Aug 09, 2023 06:37AM ET
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© Reuters. Upstart (UPST) sinks 17% after reporting Q2 results
 
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Upstart (NASDAQ:UPST) reported revenue for the second quarter that met the average analyst estimate, but its shares still traded 19% lower in pre-open Wednesday.

The company said its revenue fell 40% year-over-year to $135.8 million, which compares to the average analyst estimate of $135.2M.

"As a result of our efforts over the past year to improve efficiency and operating leverage in our business, we achieved record-high contribution margin and positive cash flow in Q2," said Dave Girouard, co-founder and CEO of Upstart.

"While the economic environment continues to be challenging, Upstart has the opportunity to grow quickly and profitably when we return to a normalized economy. We’re in the pole position to lead the industry to an AI-enabled future that dramatically improves access to credit for hundreds of millions of Americans."

Upstart reported a surprising profit of 6 cents a share as analysts were looking for a loss per share of 7 cents.

Shares slumped on Monday after Morgan Stanley analysts recommended that investors “fade” the stock’s year-to-date rally.

Upstart shares are up 297.6% YTD through Tuesday’s close.

Citi analysts remain Sell-rated with a price target of $15 per share, which implies a downside risk of over 70%.

"We remain bearish on the stock nearterm, believing that higher interest rates (effectively pushing potential borrowers above the national cap), cumulative inflation, and the (gradual) return of student loan payments portend that non-prime lending fundamentals could get worse from here."

BTIG analysts said the biggest highlight of the report was a top-line miss. They cut the price target to $64 per share.

"We continue to believe that Upstart has rounded the corner, and is no longer facing the same risks it was during 2022, and consensus expectations need to factor in recent fundamental improvements," the analysts said.

Upstart sinks 19% on Q2 results; Citi says underlying funding challenges remain
 

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