Why Did Upstart Holdings’ Stock Double Today?

UPST stock cover image

Upstart Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: UPST) had a quiet IPO in mid-December. Its IPO was overshadowed, falling within a week of the highly anticipated IPOs for DoorDash, Inc. (NYSE: DASH) and Airbnb, Inc. (NASDAQ: ABNB).

But today, Upstart is finally getting its moment in the spotlight.

According to a recent press release, the company is “a leading artificial intelligence (AI) lending platform.” It hosted its first earnings call on Tuesday night, reporting profits of $0.07 per share, beating the analyst consensus of $0.05.

But past earnings aren’t what investors are focused on today. Instead, they’re eyeing the forward-looking guidance and growth potential as the company enters into the automotive lending industry.

According to the company’s press release, “approximately $1 trillion of cars are sold in the US, and most of them are financed. Yet… less than 1% of buyers satisfied with the current process.”

Upstart seeks to “create a seamless and inclusive experience” for customers and “reduce the cost of auto financing” with a new acquisition: Prodigy Software, Inc., a provider of cloud-based, automotive retail software.

In the release, Upstart claims that AI-enabled auto loans provide better service at a lower cost to all parties, stating the “lending model can provide banks with up to 75% fewer defaults at the same approval rate.”

Those financing the cars aren’t left out. The company claims that the platform enabled “consumers to refinance expensive and mispriced auto loans, saving borrowers an average of $72 per month.”

UPST stock closed on Wednesday at $60.79. The price has more than doubled during Thursday’s trading session. At writing, it has traded as high at $122.99.

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