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Uber Says Coronavirus Could Reduce Rides, Needham Says Short-Term Pain Creates Buying Opportunity

When people stay home because of coronavirus fears, the ride-hailing industry likely will feel it at least a little.

Benzinga · 03/03/2020 16:59

When people stay home because of coronavirus fears, the ride-hailing industry likely will feel it at least a little.

Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER) acknowledged that for the first time, saying in a financial filing on Monday that the Covid-19 outbreak - or the fear of a pandemic - could reduce users.

Needham Lowers Uber Price Target

Needham analyst Brad Erickson lowered the firm's price target on Uber from $56 to $54 Tuesday, noting that 15% of Uber's rides are either coming from or going to airports.

But Erickson kept a Buy rating on Uber. With its price down, Uber is now an even better buy, the analyst said, adding the stock to Needham's Conviction List.

The likelihood that at least some rider loss will occur because of fewer people moving around led Erickson to lower his estimate on Uber's rides booking and net revenue, which in turn brought down EBITDA assumptions and prompted the lower price target.

An Uber Buying Opportunity?

"The stock is now down over 20% since its post-earnings levels, and we think Coronavirus concern has created a very attractive buying opportunity with the stock," Erickson said in a note.

"We acknowledge the airport and related rides could be hurt in the near-term but with management speaking later this week at investor conferences, we think that addressing the impact more likely puts a floor in the stock than causes further downside given what's priced in."

UBER Up

Uber shares were trading 1.37% higher at $33.26 at the time of publication Tuesday. 

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Photo courtesy of Uber.