The U.S. district court ruling that Ripple’s XRP token should not be considered a security if sold via an exchange or through programmatic sales is positive for Coinbase (COIN) shares since it sets a precedent that token sales through exchanges, at least in the case of XRP, did not violate securities laws, broker Needham said in a research report Friday.
"This outcome should moderately de-risk the regulatory pressure on the stock,” analysts John Todaro and Daniel Lehmann wrote, which is a significant overhang on the share price.
The broker maintained its buy rating on Coinbase shares and raised its price target to $120 from $70. Coinbase shares were trading 1% lower at $105.96 in premarket trading Friday. The stock closed 25% higher on Thursday following the Ripple court ruling.
Recent bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded-fund (ETF) applications from major traditional finance institutions that are using Coinbase for various services “gives us further comfort regarding broad support for the ecosystem and Coinbase,” the report said.
Needham said it had modestly raised its second-quarter 2023 earnings estimates for the crypto exchange, but cautioned that a further decline in retail trading would result in poor volumes for the quarter.
Needham’s bullish comments were in stark contrast to those of German investment bank Berenberg, which wrote Thursday that the rally in Coinbase shares following news of the court’s decision was unwarranted.
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.