'Still looks cheap': One Wall Street analyst explains why Uber's struggles make it a perfect stock to buy (UBER)

Uber IPO

  • Uber’s stock has gotten clobbered since the ride-hailing giant went public in May, and now the company looks a bargain, according to Needham analyst Brad Erickson. 
  • Erickson argues that at Uber’s current valuation, investors are basically getting Uber Eats, Freight, and the company’s other mobility businesses for free. 
  • Uber has struggled to gain footing in the markets since its IPO, with its shares falling more than 35%. 
  • Watch Uber trade live.

Uber’s bumpy ride in the public markets this year has created the perfect buying opportunity, according to Needham analyst Brad Erickson. 

“Uber’s Rides business could well justify the stock’s entire current valuation; meaning it looks to us like you’re getting Eats, Freight, ATG, New mobility and any other endmarket optionality entirely for free at current levels,” Erickson said in a note to clients on Thursday. 

According to Needham’s analysis, Uber’s Rides business generated about $0.33 in EBITDA per trip last during the second quarter. Using a 20-times multiple and stretching that margin across a year, Uber’s implied equity valuation is about $40 billion based on Needham’s model, compared to the company’s current market value of $49 billion. 

Bullish investors and analysts have argued in the past that Uber’s newer business lines like Eats and Freight are key to the company turning a profit.  

Erickson lowered his price target slightly to $50 from $52 based on challenges to Uber’s business at airports and uncertainty around a law in California that could threaten the independent contractor model for driver. But he also reiterated his ‘buy’ rating and long-term bull case.

If Uber can bring the growth in its rides business back into the 20% to 30% range, continue growing its food-delivery segment by triple-digits through 2019, and shows even small progress on autonomous rides, Erickson believes the company could reach $130 a share. 

Uber has struggled to keep up with broader market since its debut in May. Shares have shed more than 30% as investors have rebuked the company’s mounting losses and uncertain path to profitability. 

Read more: A group of small tech stocks is quietly dominating the FANGs after lagging behind for years. Here’s why a Wall Street expert is convinced its gains are just getting started.

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'Still looks cheap': One Wall Street analyst explains why Uber's struggles make it a perfect stock to buy (UBER)

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