Coinbase Upgraded to Neutral as Goldman Sachs Ends Bearish Stance

The bank lifted its rating on the stock after bitcoin hit record highs and the crypto exchange’s trading volume reached levels not seen since 2021.

AccessTimeIconMar 8, 2024 at 1:10 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 9, 2024 at 1:43 a.m. UTC
  • Higher crypto prices are a tailwind for the exchange.
  • Recent cryptocurrency price action has been driven by increased retail participation.
  • The exchange’s daily volumes have hit levels not seen since the 2021 bull market.

Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs (GS) called time on its bearish stance on crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN), upgrading the shares to neutral from sell after bitcoin (BTC) hit a record high and daily trading volumes hit levels not seen since 2021, according to a report published Thursday.

The bank also lifted its price target to $282 from $170. Coinbase shares were little changed at $242.10 in premarket trading.

“While we still see limited use cases of crypto at present, the 'beta' to the price action has significantly outweighed any alpha from not seeing an acceleration in retail adoption over time,” analysts led by Will Nance wrote.

Goldman attributes the stock's advance this year to the large jump in crypto prices as well as the “company’s commitment to managing towards more consistent profitability over time.”

As bitcoin hit new highs above $67,000, data shows Coinbase's daily volumes in the $3 billion to $5 billion range, and the bank’s analysis shows that much has been driven by increased retail participation, “which fundamentally come in at much more attractive take rates for COIN.”

The exchange has seen fundamental benefits from “increasing price on the simple trading platform, while maintaining market share, a renewed commitment to greater expense control and profitability in all market environments and tailwinds from higher interest rates as a result of COIN’s 50% revenue share of the interest income earned on USDC reserve balances,” the report added.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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