Lyft’s stock has a blue Monday as shares slide after public debut

Today, investors took off their rose-colored glasses (and pink-colored mustaches) and looked at Lyft’s shares with fresh eyes after Friday’s ebullient debut.

And — judging by the company’s share price at the end of the day — what they saw wasn’t exactly to their liking.

Lyft’s shares suffered a pretty blue Monday in trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange today, closing down $9.28 (or 11.85 percent).

Once trading after the pink confetti was swept up off the floor, analysts and investors had a different story to tell about one of the first unicorns to make its public debut.

Part of the reason for the company’s share price tumble was a report from Guggenheim Partners analyst Jake Fuller, which voiced skepticism about the ride-hailing company’s path to profitability.

Lyft’s financial picture has always been challenged. That was clear from the moment it filed its financial documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission before its public debut.

As TechCrunch wrote at the time:

According to the filing, Lyft recorded $2.2 billion in revenue in 2018, more than double the $1 billion recorded in 2017. Meanwhile, losses have been growing considerably. The company posted a net loss of $911 million on the $2.2 billion in revenue and a $688 million loss on 2017’s $1 billion.

The analysis from Fuller simply makes clear that Lyft’s purported path to profitability is dependent on a number of steps that could prove very difficult for the company to execute.

“We see four paths to profitability: cut driver pay, turn off incentives, reduce insurance costs or shift to self-driving cars,” Fuller is quoted by MarketWatch as writing. “The first two would be tough in a highly competitive category, the third might not be enough by itself and the fourth is likely 10 years out.”