Full speed ahead or time to pump the breaks when it comes to investing in ride-share companies?

Full speed ahead or time to pump the breaks when it comes to investing in ride-share companies? Full speed ahead or time to pump the breaks when it comes to investing in ride-share companies?

July 16, 20192 min read
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There’s been a lot of talk and even some screaming from early investors about the state of ride-share stocks like Uber and Lyft.


Since its IPO, Uber has been a rollercoaster ride for those who got in early.


“When Uber stock (UBER) went public on May 10, it looked like a disaster. At minimum, underwriters look for a stock to close slightly above its offering price. Uber’s shares dropped 7.6% to $41.60 in the first day of trading and closed well below the offering price of $45. But a funny thing has happened since. After closing down as much as 18% from its IPO price, Uber stock has rallied 21% to close at $44.92 per share on Thursday. The stock eclipsed the IPO price during intraday trading for the first time on Wednesday and closed at exactly $45 that day.”  June 07 – Barron’s


But let’s be honest, unless you’ve got a crystal ball or a time machine – any stock is a gamble. How the market reacts, how the company performs and even how CEOs behave can dictate big gains or drastic falls.


Steve Jones is a Professor of Finance at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business – he lent his perspective to the topic.


“As far as which stocks to buy, there are never right or wrong answers – It’s just a question of a person being able to assess risk or potential returns. The IPO prices indicate the market has discounted Uber and Lyft stocks and sees them as riskier than originally perceived to be. Now, they do offer potential for a good return… For example, Facebook stocks dropped then rebounded… Google dropped then rebounded. Lots of stocks that have not done well at first have come back. Will that be these two?


"I think there’s potential for it. On the other hand, we have this situation where analysts are critical of the business models of both these companies. It’s not clear Uber drivers are going to sign up to do this in the long run at these kind of wages, and if they can’t underpay drivers, how do they make money? There is a criticism going on of the business model here, and if this model can become profitable, I think the stocks will take off. It’s questionable though, whether that’s possible or not. That’s what the market is going back and forth on right now.”


Are you covering the track Uber investors are on, other IPO’s or companies that are disrupting not just the marketplace but also the stock market?  Then let our experts help with your stories. Steve L. Jones is an expert in the areas of asset valuation, corporate finance, financial markets, and investment management. He’s available to speak with media regarding these topics – simply click on his icon to arrange an interview.




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  • Steve Jones
    Steve Jones Professor of Finance

    Steve L. Jones' expertise is in the areas of asset valuation, corporate finance, financial markets, and investment management.

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