Coinbase Churns as Jitters Overshadow Wall Street’s Optimism
Coinbase Global Inc. seesawed on Thursday following a volatile trading debut, with momentum building around the stock even as some in the market struggled to place a value on the biggest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange.
After initially spiking as much as 6.4%, a choppy session saw shares close down 1.7% at $322.75. Nearly 40 million shares changed hands in Thursday’s session, making it among the most actively traded companies with a market value above $25 billion.
While the exchange’s $64 billion valuation tops the likes of Capital One Financial Corp. and Analog Devices Inc., it’s a far cry from $112 billion hit in its debut. Unlike traditional IPOs, where banks help set the company’s value, Coinbase’s direct listing leaves that up to market participants, helping contribute to a stock’s volatility.
Despite being unable to sustain its initial strength, positive sentiment toward the stock is starting to build. DA Davidson analyst Gil Luria raised the firm’s price target to a Street-high of $650 and touted the company’s “regulatory-friendly” approach to the nascent market.
Optimism was apparent on the buy-side as Cathie Wood’s Ark Investment Management bought about $246 million worth of the stock for three of its funds, while BTIG analyst Mark Palmer initiated coverage with a buy rating and highlighted the potential increase in cryptocurrency’s total market capitalization beyond the current $2.1 trillion.
Coinbase’s valuation should reflect its position as a market leader similar to “other category leaders with open-ended growth opportunities” like Zoom Video Communications Inc., Tesla Inc., and Snowflake Inc., Palmer wrote in the note.