“What it shows is there are obviously a number of flippers and IPO valuation was probably stretched,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Wealth Advisors. “Investment bankers generally want to leave something for retail investors. Maybe in this case they didn’t I think they probably just gauged demand and drew an unrealistic trendline.”
Ablin said Lyft has come public in a stock market that is fully valued, but analysts said it is not bubbly like the when the IPO market was red hot before the tech bubble burst in 2000.
Ablin said Lyft is not the first high-profile IPO to make a splashy debut and then immediately trade under water. Facebook for instance, launched in 2012 at $38. On its second day of trading, it fell nearly 11 percent from its first aftermarket close, and was still trading below the offer price more than a year later. Facebook later went on to famously become a lead stock in momentum trade, FANG, and Monday it was trading above $168.
“It’s when companies are growing fast but losing a lot of money, and we don’t know when it’s going to stop. That means they’re really hard to value. A lot of the trading in Lyft had to do with that it’s popular,” said Kathleen Smith, a principal at Renassiance Capital, which manages ETFs based on IPOs. Smith said Lyft will be added to its Renaissance IPO ETF on Friday.
She said the market is still figuring out what the company is worth. “This is the public market saying we don’t think it’s worth what it was offered at. It’s going to take some time for this to be figured out. The result is probably good for investors, not so good for companies. So the IPOs that follow, it, particularly the money-losing unicorns, are going to be priced more reasonably,” said Smith.
The arrival of Lyft and Levi Strauss, another recent high profile IPO [still above its offer price] was viewed as a sign that the dormant IPO market could be picking up, and there’s a series of other high interest IPOs in the cue behind them. Ride-share rival Uber, Pinterest, Slack, Airbnb and Palantir Technologies are all expected to go public this year. Dow Jones reported Monday that Slack, valued at more than $7 billion, is expected to trade on the NYSE in June or July.