Upstart shares fell over 20% in pre-market trading after the AI-powered lending startup reported significant revenue and net income growth but provided projections that fell short of what the market expected.
The company reported revenue of $228 million, a 250 % increase over the previous year and far ahead of analyst projections of $214 million; GAAP EPS came in at $.30 per share, while non-GAAP EPS came in at $.60 per share, also well ahead of analyst estimates of $.33 per share.
Guidance was also above expectations, with a revenue estimate of $255-$265 million vs. a current forecast of $227.6 million for Q4, and an adjusted earnings view of $.51 per share vs. $.20 per share expectations.
Despite this, the stock traded significantly lower in the early reaction. Adjusted EBITDA estimate is for $51-$53M, which is less than this quarter's $59.1M, which, together with the lower adjusted earnings outlook, may be part of the problem, especially because Q4 is a seasonally strong quarter for Upstart due to holiday demand.
It could also be market gravity, as Upstart has grown in popularity among both growth and momentum investors. Shares are up roughly 200 % from last summer's lows and are up 1170 % from last year's IPO price, even at pre-market levels. Using the top end of their 2021 guidance, Upstart trades at 30x P/S.
"Since our IPO a year ago, we've more than tripled our revenue, profits, the number of banks and credit unions on our platform, and the number of auto dealerships we serve," said Dave Girouard, Upstart's co-founder, and CEO. "With that many 3s, Upstart is becoming the Steph Curry of the FinTech industry."
Analysts have yet to weigh in, although Bank of America maintained an underperform rating and reduced its price target to $255 per share in the immediate aftermath. Pre-market, shares are trading around $253, down more than 19% from yesterday's close.