- Upstart (UPST) is trading near the bottom of its range despite the company’s impressive financial results.
- Plus, Upstart is enacting a share-buyback program and introducing a robust mobile-first platform.
- Investors should put Upstart high on their list of technology firms to watch in 2022.
California-headquartered Upstart (NASDAQ:UPST) seeks to upend traditional bank underwriting practices with an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered lending platform. For today’s fintech-market investors, UPST stock offers direct exposure to a bold, disruptive start-up.
Yet the Upstart share price has fallen sharply from its peak. For value hunters, there may be a brief window of opportunity here to invest in UPST stock at a reduced valuation.
As we’ll see, Upstart’s solid financials will, by themselves, build a persuasive bull case. However, even beyond the fiscal stats, there are still more reasons to consider a stake in Upstart.
What’s Happening with UPST Stock?
With a 52-week range of $75.15 to $401.49, there’s no denying UPST stock has room to run. Not long ago, the stock was trading near $105, which is much closer to the bottom than the top of the range.
Most likely, the drawdown in the Upstart share price was due to a broad-market “tech wreck,” in which investors rotated out of growth and technology stocks.
None of that was Upstart’s fault, of course. Financially speaking, the company has been firing on all cylinders.
Consider that during 2021’s fourth quarter, Upstart posted a whopping 252% year-over-year (YOY) total revenue increase. The company’s Q4 2021 total fee revenue of $287 million, moreover, grew 240% YOY.
Also during that quarter, Upstart posted earnings of 89 cents per share. This result easily beat the consensus estimate of 49 cents per share and demolished the year-ago quarter’s result of 7 cents per share.
Moving beyond the fiscal stats, Upstart’s board of directors approved a major share-repurchase program. Specifically, they authorized share buybacks of up to $400 million worth of common stock — a sure sign of executive-level confidence in the company.
A Mobile Focus
If AI-powered lending is the future, then Upstart is definitely part of an emerging revolution that’s a major threat to traditional lenders.
This revolution will be led by tech innovators like Upstart. In a recent example of this, Upstart announced a new mobile-first platform for the company’s Upstart Auto Retail segment.
It’s intended to deliver an improved user experience as well as new features. The new platform should enhance the already highly successful Upstart Auto Retail service. As the company points out, Upstart Auto Retail adoption among car dealers grew nearly four times in 2021.
The features of the new mobile platform will include browse mode, in which the users can filter “to search, sort, find, and compare vehicles of interest throughout the entire buying journey,” and a “Finish Later” button, whereby “a customer can save their progress to come back to [continue shopping] later.”
Meanwhile, salespeople will have access to instant insights into customers’ interests and purchasing behavior. Thus, they’ll be “better prepared to structure deals when shoppers walk into the dealership.”
What You Can Do Now With UPST Stock
The share-buyback program shows that Upstart’s executives are confident in the company’s future. Furthermore, the company’s financials are undeniably strong.
On top of all that, Upstart is continuing to demonstrate its top-tier tech focus with an enhanced mobile-friendly platform. Therefore, while UPST stock is still near the bottom of its range, investors can consider taking a position for the long term.
On the date of publication, neither Louis Navellier nor the InvestorPlace Research Staff member primarily responsible for this article held (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.