Coinbase’s SEC Kerfuffle Is Dragging Down COIN’s Price: Piper Sandler Analyst

Coinbase shares are down 4% in the third quarter, while bitcoin and ether prices have gained ~28% and ~43%, respectively.

AccessTimeIconSep 14, 2021 at 2:33 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. UTC
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Coinbase’s (Nasdaq: COIN) recent sell-off appears to be overdone as the stock lagged crypto prices, said Piper Sandler analyst Richard Repetto.

In a new note, he said COIN stock has also been hurt by news of a Wells notice from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over a forthcoming lending product from the cryptocurrency exchange.

Coinbase shares are down 4% in the third quarter, while bitcoin and ether prices have gained ~28% and ~43%, respectively. Coinbase consensus estimates for 3Q appear to be too low, Repetto wrote.

While he cut his third quarter earnings per share (EPS) estimates to $2.08 from $2.21, he thinks most other analysts assumed “much lower” volume run rates given Coinbase’s pre-announced “soft” crypto volumes in July.

“We suspect most estimates will need to come up with the current 3Q21 consensus EPS estimate at $1.30,” Repetto wrote.

Repetto, who has an overweight rating and $335 price target on the shares, said the crypto exchange’s decision to delay Coinbase Lend until October doesn’t impact his forward estimates because he never modeled Lend into his current or future revenue estimates.

“While we don’t believe it’s in any company’s best interest to confront their regulators, still (1) COIN has a history of working in close collaboration with regulators, and (2) we believe regulatory clarity & transparency is what the crypto industry could most utilize at this time,” Repetto wrote.

Separately, Moody’s on Monday assigned the planned $1.5 billion of debt that Coinbase is selling a Ba1 rating. Coinbase announced that it will sell the debt through a private offering and will use the funds for general corporate purpose, including product development and possible acquisitions.

Moody’s also assigned a Ba2 corporate family rating (CFR) to Coinbase.

“The firm has a leading franchise in offering crypto-based services to a large number of retail and institutional customers and has benefitted from strong revenue and earnings growth in recent periods,” Moody’s said in a statement. “However, the firm’s profitability and cash flow are almost entirely dependent upon the price and trading volume of cryptocurrencies, leaving it at risk of a substantial reduction in these factors. There is also fierce and growing competition in the sphere, and the potential for rapid shifts in crypto-asset regulation, as well as inherent cybersecurity risks.”

UPDATE (Sept. 14, 2021, 18:15 UTC): Adds information about Moody’s rating.

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Josh Fineman

Josh Fineman is CoinDesk's Senior Wall Street Reporter, covering the intersection of crypto and traditional finance.


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