One thing that is readily apparent watching Uber’s (UBER) stock in the days after its hyped IPO on May 10: Short sellers are going to have a field day betting against the ride-hailing giant releasing any good news in 2019 (especially on the profit front).
Short interest in Uber’s stock currently stands at $846 million, or a whopping 11.77% of the float, according to new data shared with Yahoo Finance by S3 Analytics. The amount of Uber’s stock sold short at 21.18 million has increased steadily since May 10.
Investors usually short a stock they expect will lose value. That’s a reasonable wager to make on Uber right now amid concerns on its startling losses likely continuing well into 2020.
Meanwhile, the trading activity in Uber has stunk — which only emboldens the short-sellers.
The ride-hailing business priced its stock at $45 a share last Thursday, giving the company a valuation of $82.4 billion. Uber began trading Friday morning at about $42 a share. By the time the market closed, Uber’s stock had nosedived 7.6% from its IPO price to $41.57.
Despite a 7% or so rally on Tuesday, at $40.80 currently the stock is still trading below its closing price on its first day on the market.
“I don’t think we should throw in the towel on Uber infinitely right now, but I do think it will really question the valuations on some of these late stage companies,” Pimco managing director and portfolio manager Erin Browne said on Yahoo Finance The First Trade on Wednesday.
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said investors he has spoken with are taking a wait and see approach to Uber. Investors want to see Uber’s stock stabilize before accumulating positions, Ives said.
Others on Wall Street have used the Uber IPO to draw inferences on the broader market.
“I do think this is a sign of the top of the market and we are of the view that we are late cycle. I do think it’s a sign of the times that we are rolling over,” Suzanne Hutchins, senior portfolio manager at Newton Investment Management, told Yahoo Finance.
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