Coinbase Remains a Market Leader Despite Near-Term Headwinds, Analysts Say

The shares fell as analysts cut their price targets while saying they’re not concerned about Coinbase's business.

Feb 25, 2022 at 2:22 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 25, 2022 at 3:51 p.m. UTC

Michael Bellusci is CoinDesk's crypto payments reporter.

Coinbase Global will retain its leadership position in the crypto industry even after saying lower volatility is likely to lead to lower trading volumes, analysts said.

“We continue to recommend Coinbase as we see the company as a leader in the crypto ecosystem, although now we will have to wait longer for the payoff,” Kenneth Worthington, an analyst at JPMorgan, said in a note to clients. He maintained an overweight rating while reducing the price target to $296 from $345.

Coinbase shares (COIN) fell about 4.5% at Friday's market open after retreating following the earnings release late Thursday. The company provided a strong fourth-quarter report, though cited near-term crypto and macroeconomic headwinds.

The crypto exchange said crypto asset volatility and prices have dropped from the all-time highs set in the fourth quarter, owing in part to macroeconomic factors and geopolitical instability in parts of the world. As a result, it expects retail monthly transacting users and total trading volume to be lower in the first quarter versus the fourth quarter.

“Still, COIN remains an attractive story for those that want to buy it on spot price weakness as the company continues to expand, diversify and gain share against the backdrop of a potentially hyper growth TAM,” Canaccord’s Joseph Vafi said in a note, referring to total addressable market, or potential market size. The firm maintained a buy rating and reduced its price target to $275 from $342, citing potential for volatility in Coinbase’s margin profile.

Analysts expecting more detail on Coinbase’s non-fungible token (NFT) plans, though, will have to wait because the company didn’t provide a firm date around any product launches.

“We remain hopeful that the company is taking its time to ensure that it has a fully scalable NFT product at launch which could allow COIN to quickly take market share in a fast growing vertical,” Needham & Co.’s John Todaro said. He also maintained his buy rating, while cutting the price target to $360 from $420.

Coinbase said on its conference call they expect to be competitive in this segment and doesn’t view NFTs as a “zero-sum game.”

UPDATE (Feb 25, 15:07 UTC): Rewrites subhead to reflect share trading, updates share price in third paragraph.

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Michael Bellusci is CoinDesk's crypto payments reporter.

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Michael Bellusci is CoinDesk's crypto payments reporter.

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