Pro Research: Wall Street examines Coinbase’s trajectory

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Published Dec 04, 2023 01:09PM ET Updated Dec 26, 2023 03:33PM ET

Pro Research: Wall Street examines Coinbase's trajectory © Reuters.

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In the dynamic world of cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase (NASDAQ:) Global, Inc. (NASDAQ:COIN) stands as a significant player, providing a platform for buying, selling, transferring, and storing digital currency. As the cryptoeconomy evolves, so does the scrutiny from investors and analysts, who keep a keen eye on the company’s performance, market trends, and regulatory environment.

Company Overview

Coinbase Global , Inc. has established itself as a major financial platform in the cryptocurrency space, with retail engagement playing a pivotal role in its revenue and profitability. The company’s user base and trading volume per retail Monthly Transacting User (MTU) have seen fluctuations, with some signs of stabilization in market share in the third quarter. Recent product launches that focus on international expansion, such as spot trading on its international exchange, Wallet integration for messaging apps, and an institutional-grade smart contract platform for tokenized assets, underscore the company’s commitment to growth and diversification.

Financial Health and Performance

Analysts have taken note of Coinbase’s financial adjustments, with revenue and EBITDA estimates reflecting a cautiously optimistic outlook. Revenue projections for the coming years suggest a trajectory of $2,662 million in 2023 and $2,437 million in 2024. Similarly, EBITDA is expected to be $634 million in 2023, decreasing to $486 million in 2024. This financial forecasting indicates a company that, while facing challenges, is managing to navigate the volatile cryptocurrency market with resilience.

The company has demonstrated improved cost controls, which could lead to better profitability. Despite a challenging operating environment, Coinbase has managed to deliver three consecutive quarters of positive adjusted EBITDA, surpassing consensus estimates.

Market Position and Competitive Landscape

In the competitive landscape, Coinbase has maintained a significant position in the cryptocurrency exchange market. The company has shown signs of stabilizing market share against competitors and has been proactive in diversifying its revenue streams. The launch of derivatives products to retail and institutional investors is anticipated to drive upside to estimates. The company’s market capitalization stands at approximately USD 36.7553 billion, indicating its substantial presence in the industry.

Regulatory Environment

The regulatory environment remains a critical factor for Coinbase, with the industry experiencing significant pressures. Actions against other players in the space, such as Binance and Kraken, have not dramatically changed Coinbase’s competitive position, but they underscore the ongoing regulatory challenges faced by the sector.

Future Outlook and Projections

Looking ahead, near-term catalysts for Coinbase include potential regulatory approvals, such as an SEC nod for a spot ETF, which could significantly impact trading volumes. The Bitcoin halving event in April 2024 is also among the anticipated developments that could influence the company’s performance.

Coinbase continues to expand internationally, with operations in Brazil, Singapore, Canada, and a focus on crypto derivatives markets. These initiatives, alongside a robust product development strategy, could position the company favorably in the global cryptoeconomy.

Bear Case

Can Coinbase sustain its profitability amid market fluctuations?

The sustainability of Coinbase’s profitability is a concern for some analysts, given the ongoing decline in retail engagement and the company’s heavy reliance on transaction fees. With the cryptocurrency market known for its volatility, there is skepticism about whether the current strategies will yield long-term growth or if they are merely a temporary fix.

Will regulatory pressures derail Coinbase’s momentum?

Regulatory pressures are an ever-present threat to Coinbase’s momentum. As the industry faces increased scrutiny, there is a risk that further enforcement actions could impact the company’s operations and investor sentiment. This could lead to a more cautious approach from investors, potentially affecting the company’s stock performance.

Bull Case

What growth opportunities could propel Coinbase forward?

Coinbase’s consistent performance, with three quarters of positive adjusted EBITDA and good revenue diversification, suggests a company that is managing to find growth opportunities even in a tough market. Upcoming regulatory approvals and product launches could significantly boost trading volumes and revenues.

Moreover, JMP Securities has recently increased its price target for Coinbase to $200.00, up from $107.00, reflecting a bullish long-term outlook. They highlighted Coinbase’s potential to become a network winner in the digital asset economy, with innovation and technical differentiation positioning it well for future revenue growth and diversification. Despite potential short-term volatility, industry leaders like Coinbase are expected to thrive in the long term.

How might Coinbase benefit from the broader industry’s positive outlook?

Despite individual challenges, the broader financial sector’s positive outlook could bode well for Coinbase. As the industry grows and matures, companies like Coinbase that have established strong market positions and brand recognition may stand to benefit from the rising tide lifting all boats in the cryptoeconomy.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths:

– Strong market position in the cryptocurrency exchange space.

– Demonstrated resilience with positive adjusted EBITDA in recent quarters.

– Diversification of revenue streams and introduction of new products.

– International expansion and proactive regulatory engagement.

Weaknesses:

– Dependence on retail engagement and transaction fees for revenue.

– Regulatory uncertainties and potential for adverse actions.

– Fluctuations in trading volumes and cryptocurrency market volatility.

Opportunities:

– Potential regulatory approvals, such as a spot Bitcoin ETF.

– Growth in crypto derivatives markets and international operations.

– Rising interest in digital currencies and blockchain technology.

Threats:

– Intensifying competition within the cryptocurrency exchange industry.

– Persistent bearish market conditions, often referred to as “crypto winter.”

– Regulatory changes that could affect the operational landscape.

Analyst Targets

– Mizuho Securities USA LLC: Not specified rating with a price target of $54.00, up from $35.00 previously (December 22, 2023).

– Barclays Capital Inc.: Underweight rating with a price target of $67.00 (December 15, 2023).

– H.C. Wainwright & Co: Buy rating with a price target of $115.00 (November 06, 2023).

– JMP Securities: Market Outperform rating with a price target of $200.00 (December 22, 2023).

– Oppenheimer & Co Inc.: Perform rating (October 12, 2023).

This analysis spans from September to December 2023.

InvestingPro Insights

In the ever-changing landscape of cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase Global, Inc. (NASDAQ:COIN) has been a topic of intense analysis among investors. With a Market Cap (Adjusted) of $41.24B USD, the company’s financials and market performance provide a mixed picture. While the P/E Ratio (Adjusted) for the last twelve months as of Q3 2023 stands at a negative -34.31, reflecting challenges in profitability, the Gross Profit Margin is impressively high at 85.61%, suggesting a strong underlying business model.

InvestingPro Tips indicate that Coinbase’s stock price movements are quite volatile, a factor that traders should consider when evaluating the company’s short-term performance. Additionally, analysts have revised their earnings upwards for the upcoming period, hinting at a potentially more optimistic future for the company. However, it’s worth noting that analysts do not anticipate Coinbase to be profitable this year, which could be a point of concern for long-term investors.

On the brighter side, the company’s stock has seen a Strong return over the last three months, with a 138.27% Price Total Return, and is Trading near its 52-week high at 98.74% of the peak price. This momentum could interest investors looking for growth potential in their portfolios.

For those seeking deeper insights, InvestingPro offers additional tips and metrics, which can be accessed through a subscription. Currently, there are 11 additional InvestingPro Tips available for Coinbase, providing a more comprehensive understanding of the company’s prospects. As a special New Year’s promotion, InvestingPro subscription is now on a special sale with a discount of up to 50%. Use the coupon code research23 to get an additional 10% off a 2-year InvestingPro+ subscription, and unlock the full potential of your investment research.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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