Lyft jumps as KeyBanc upgrades on data suggesting company improvement
Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT) shares rose more than 3% in premarket trading on Tuesday as investment firm KeyBanc Capital Markets showed recent data for the ridesharing firm suggests it may be more profitable in 2023 than investors expect.
Analyst Justin Patterson noted that the firm's First Look data sample showed data for Lyft (LYFT) improving in December. When combined with continued improvement on the West Coast and the company's recent cost cuts, including layoffs instituted last year, there is the potential for EBITDA improvement in 2023.
"When we layer this in with aggressive cost-cutting action in recent quarters and an ongoing recovery along the West Coast, we see meaningful opportunity for improvement in Lyft's EBITDA over the course of 2023," Patterson wrote in a note to clients.
Patterson raised his estimated EBITDA target for 2024 to $848M, below the company's own target of $1B, but above Wall Street consensus of $828M.
In addition, Patterson noted that driver app download growth has stabilized and is trending in-line with Uber Technologies (UBER). Patterson also noted that Lyft's (LYFT) valuation is "attractive" at current levels, trading at 9 times estimated 2024 enterprise value-to-EBITDA, while growing in the "mid-teens" and with increasing margins.
For comparison purposes, Uber (UBER) is trading at roughly 13 times the same metric, while also growing in the high-teens and with similar levels of margin expansion.
Patterson also looked at Uber (UBER) data and the trends continue to remain "Stable" as customer growth remained at roughly 5% year-over-year, while indexed transactions fell to 4% year-over-year growth, according to KeyBanc's First Look data.
Uber (UBER) shares fell fractionally to $30.40 in premarket trading on Tuesday.
Analysts are largely bullish on Lyft (LYFT). It has a HOLD rating from Seeking Alpha authors, while Wall Street analysts rate it a BUY. Conversely, Seeking Alpha's quant system, which consistently beats the market, rates LYFT a HOLD.