Ride-hailing company Lyft opens trading at $87.24, above IPO price

Ann Santiago
March 31, 2019

Uber is expected to go public later this spring and aim for a market value of $120 billion, even though it also remains unprofitable, with a loss of $865 million in its last quarter (compared to Lyft's $249 million loss last quarter).

Though its revenue more than doubled to $2.16 billion in 2018 (from 2017), its total costs and expenses keep growing fast, increasing to $3.1 billion in 2018 (from $1.8 billion in 2017). "By envisioning a world where cities feel like communities again, where transportation and technology bring people together, instead of pull them a part, Lyft believes in a future where public companies, civic leaders and grassroots organizations work together to for the greater good of our cities". "They don't see the problems as much", said Brian Hamilton, co-founder of data firm Sageworks, speaking before the pricing.

Shares in Lyft soared on Friday as Silicon Valley's first major flotation of the year demonstrated red-hot investor demand for a new wave of technology listings.

For years, Uber tried to bulldoze ahead of Lyft and other rivals through a mix of aggressive fundraising and dirty tricks. Last week, after just two days of marketing to investors, Lyft's listing was oversubscribed.

San Francisco-based Lyft sold 32.5 million shares after initially marketing 30.8 million shares at $62 to $68 each. Economists believe growth has slowed this year due to weaker growth prospects in China and Europe, the dampening effects on US exports from the Trump administration's trade battles and the waning boost from the 2017 tax cut and government spending. It debuts on the Nasdaq this morning, sporting the ingenious ticker symbol of...wait for it...

Lyft's IPO on the Nasdaq Global Select Market was highly anticipated and may be the beginning of a record year for tech IPOs, according to the Wall Street Journal.

It's worth reminding ourselves that a significant rise in corporate value after an initial public offering is a failure of that IPO. It increased the range to $70 to $72 the day before the IPO was set to price.

Lyft said this week it will provide at least $50 million per year to cities to support transportation infrastructure, fight climate change and provide free rides to those in need, such as victims of natural disasters.

Lyft was launched in 2012 and is led by its founders, Logan Green and John Zimmer. The company has not laid out a timeline for when it will turn a profit.

"We didn't used to be able to take companies like this public", market experts Carol Roth said during an interview on "After The Bell" Friday.

Beating its rideshare rival Uber to the punch is an advantage for the second most popular app, giving it the opportunity to set the market's rate and attract new investors. General Motors Co is an investor in Lyft.

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