Coinbase’s First-Ever Q1 Earnings Report Is Today, but the Real Focus Is on Q2 View

With the company halfway through Q2, analysts want to know what monthly active users looked like for April and May.

AccessTimeIconMay 13, 2021 at 6:25 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 3:19 a.m. UTC

Coinbase is set to report detailed financials for the first time on Thursday just after 4 p.m. ET. 

While the exchange released preliminary first-quarter earnings results in April just ahead of its direct listing on Nasdaq, the results on Thursday will include more specific numbers on expenses and cash levels at the exchange. 

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  • Even with the extra financial insight, however, analysts will be more focused on the second quarter than on the first quarter in order to get a clue on where the company’s shares are heading. 

    Some guidance would likely be appreciated as opinions about where COIN stock is headed are wildly divergent. In the past week, Nashville, Tenn.-based New Constructs said that COIN could fall to $100 or less, while Oppenheimer gave a price target of $434.

    "They'll be almost halfway through the quarter by the time they report on Thursday," said Gil Luria, D.A. Davidson's head of institutional research. "The commentary about how things are going right now is going to be what everybody really pays attention to."

    In recent trading, shares of COIN were down 9.5% at $256.54, just above the reference price of $250. That's the price market makers said the stock should start trading at when it was first listed.

    Shares are falling after Tesla CEO Elon Musk, one of bitcoin's most vocal supporters, said yesterday that Tesla was suspending accepting bitcoin as payment because of concerns about the cryptocurrency's impact on the environment. Investors will almost certainly be scanning Coinbase's release for any comment on Musk’s action.

    Jamie Friedman, senior fintech research analyst at Susquehanna International Group, said in an email that he will be looking for monthly figures for April and May on trading volume and the number of users conducting transactions on the exchange. Friedman said he is also looking for comments on recent partnerships and on regulation. 

    Davidson's Luria will also be watching for how much of the trading volume was institutional versus retail and for any additional information on transaction fees for trading. 

    "They get paid on trades and they get paid a lot more for consumer activity than institutional activity," Luria said. 

    Lisa Ellis, senior equity analyst at MoffetNathanson, said that she is interested to see how Coinbase plans to make crypto brokerage services become more mainstream by possibly forming partnerships with the likes of Fidelity and Charles Schwab. She said that would “go far to de-risk the bear thesis on the stock,” which is that other crypto exchanges could grab customers from Coinbase by undercutting it on price, leading to a race to the bottom on fees.

    In April, Coinbase announced its users could buy cryptocurrency using their PayPal accounts. The fees for using PayPal are much higher than other ways of purchasing crypto from the exchange.

    “There’s like a handful of big retail brokerages and big retail wallets,” Ellis said. “If they lock up partnerships with a few of them, then it goes far to de-risking that.”

    Ellis added that she is also interested in an update on the Bison Trails acquisition, which could be a “huge area of growth” for the company. In January, Coinbase said it agreed to buy Bison Trails, a blockchain infrastructure company.


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