Robinhood Markets Inc., which has disrupted Wall Street with its no-fee trading app, is set to receive a rather lukewarm reception in its public debut.
The initial public offering priced overnight at $38 a share, at the bottom of the expected pricing range of between $38 and$42 a share. Robinhood raised a net $1.89 billion in the IPO, after underwriting discounts and commissions. Read more about the IPO pricing.
A recent indication is for the stock
to open on Nasdaq at around $39.00, or just 2.6% above the IPO price. That has steadily declined from the initial indication of an opening around $42.00 at 10:10 a.m. Eastern.
With a total of about 835.7 million shares outstanding after the IPO, the company looks on track to be valued the company at just under $33 billion.
The debut comes on a day of relatively tepid investor interest in the IPO market, as the Renaissance IPO exchange-traded fund
edged up 0.2% in morning trading, while the S&P 500 index
gained 0.5% toward a record high.
Whether investors should rush to buy the stock is still a matter of debate. There are worries that the retail trading boom that fueled Robinhood’s rapid growth might be fading, the company faces multiple lawsuits over how it restricted trading in some meme stocks in January and there are concerns that fundamentals don’t justify a such a high valuation, but there’s also the upside of a large and younger user base that can be upsold new products.
“I would be urging investors to stay away,” said Hugh Tallents, senior partner at management consulting firm cg42. “There is an extreme amount of emotion around this stock” that Tallents said is clouding the fundamental picture.
Among his biggest concerns is that he believes Robinhood will have to “spend a ton” to bring in new users, keep existing users and to develop new offerings to keep its users engaged.
Meanwhile, James Angel, a professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, said that over the longer-term, he is “positive” on the company, given the size of their “very young and active” user base.
“They have a lot of growth opportunities, with a young demographic that is going to get older, wealthier and wiser,” Angel said. “If they play their cards right, they’ll be able to sell them plenty of financial products.
He recommended caution over the short-term, as the stock is likely to remain volatile in the early going given all the uncertainty surrounding what is a fair price for the stock: “Even if market professionals have a pretty good idea, they don’t always get it right.”