Uber launched its IPO today on the New York Stock Exchange at the very low end of the price range it was considering, $44 to $50 a share, with an initial price of $45 but it fell nearly immediately to $42 a share.
Just before Uber's IPO launch, drivers registered on the app in San Francisco protested outside the company's headquarters for higher wages, more benefits, and better representation. The result was a notable contrast from other high-flying IPOs this year, including Pinterest, Zoom Video, and Beyond Meat, which surged in their debuts.
Like numerous IPO class of 2019, including Lyft and Pinterest Inc., Uber is unprofitable. Shares are trading under the ticker UBER. Nevertheless, the offering values Uber at $82.4 billion - impressive, no doubt, but less than the $100 billion forecast Uber floated to investors this year and far below the $120 billion that some bankers anticipated last year.
Khosrowshahi was accompanied by a team of Uber officials at the NYSE to celebrate the start of the company's life as a listed entity. As rival Lyft learned, investor patience can quickly wear thin.
Consider also that Uber's debut valuation of £58.8 billion was a considerable drop from the between £69.2 billion and £92.3 billion the company had been worth in some analysts estimation just a month earlier - one meant to stanch the forthcoming bleeding that had begun with competitor Lyft's bellyflop IPO.
Uber indicated its first shares were expected to trade up slightly, in the region of $45.50 to $46.50, when trading opens. It's also possible that the ridesharing market may not be as big as some had hoped. Ives, his family and his firm do not own shares of Lyft.
"We have incurred significant losses since inception, including in the United States and other major markets". But even if the stock market had been doing great today and Lyft's IPO hadn't been a low-level disaster, Uber would still kind of suck.
Meanwhile, Uber made its debut in the stock market at a time when the US-China trade tensions hampered equity markets across the globe and more so in the US. While the company claimed in a May 9 SEC filing that it believes "drivers are independent contractors", Uber clearly doesn't believe that too hard, because the filing goes on to reveal that Uber has $132 million squirreled away to pay to 60,000 drivers who are suing to be considered employees.
Still, the world's largest ride-hailing company appeared to generate more interest from mom-and-pop investors than Lyft.