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Why BitAuto Holdings Stock Plunged Today

Steve Symington, The Motley Fool

What happened

Shares of BitAuto Holdings (NYSE: BITA) were down 11.6% as of 2:30 p.m. EDT Thursday after an analyst downgrade of the Chinese online automotive marketing services company.

More specifically, Macquarie analyst Wendy Huang downgraded BitAuto Holdings to "Neutral" from "Outperform." Huang also assigned a $29-per-share price target on the stock, representing a roughly 20% premium from its current trading price after today's decline.

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Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Keeping in mind BitAuto stock only just surged yesterday on the company's better-than-expected first-quarter 2018 results, Huang justified her relative bearishness by noting that BitAuto's forward guidance was "largely in line" with estimates. For perspective, that guidance calls for second-quarter revenue between $393.8 million and $401.7 million, or growth of between 23.8% and 26.3%.

Now what

To be clear, that would still be an admirable feat considering BitAuto is fending off steep competition in the space -- something CEO Andy Zhang notes it's able to do with the help of strategic investors like Tencent and JD.com. Still, with BitAuto shares having risen more than 20% over the past two weeks after yesterday's pop, it was no surprise to see some on Wall Street paring their enthusiasm.

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Steve Symington has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends JD.com and Tencent Holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.