Tuesday, 17 September, 2019


Uber slips below US$70 billion valuation on first day trades

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi at an event in San Francisco in 2018.                  James Martin  CNET Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi at an event in San Francisco in 2018. James Martin CNET
Conrad Doyle | 13 May, 2019, 17:22

Some Uber drivers have been accused of assaulting passengers, and one of its self-driving test vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona a year ago while a backup driver was behind the wheel.

Investors in Uber-German for over-should be rejoicing on the company's opening day on the NYSE.

The company's stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "UBER". Lyft was down four percent, well below its IPO price. The trading debut will be closely watched by the cavalcade of other tech startups that are expected to go public this year, including Slack Technologies Inc., Postmates Inc., Peloton Interactive Inc. and WeWork Cos. "We believe Uber is off to a choppy trade on the heels of the Lyft train wreck out of the gates and general investor nervousness on the U.S. and China [trade war], [and investors' worries about risk]", said Daniel Ives, managing director of equity research at Wedbush Securities.

Against the backdrop of a US-China trade spat hitting Wall Street, shares sank below the company's listing price.

After falling close to 9 per cent Friday, shares of Uber Technologies Inc. are down less than 1 per cent.

The company has been steered for two years by Dara Khosrowshahi, its chief executive who took over in the wake of the turbulent final months of its founder Travis Kalanick's reign. Uber lost $3.03 billion in 2018 from operations.

The company's road to IPO was marred by several hurdles including increased regulation in several countries and fights with its drivers over wages.

"A core tenet of our bull thesis on Uber is around the company's ability to morph its unrivaled ridesharing platform into a broader consumer engine with Uber Eats, Uber Freight, and autonomous initiatives "just scratching the surface" of the full monetisation potential of this platform over the next decade".

But market experts have struggled to find value in a company that has consistently posted losses, and warned that it may never actually be profitable.

Uber has also weathered controversies including revelations of a culture of sexism and bullying at Uber and US Department of Justice investigations.

"The business is unprofitable, new entrants can enter the market, there is potential regulatory risk, and it is very price sensitive". Robert Johnson, professor of finance at Heider College of Business, Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska said.

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