There’s going to be a varying breadth of opinions on the Lyft (LYFT) initial public offering.
The macrocosmic example that a market still actively being made for the ridesharing company’s stock is no clearer than in Carl Icahn’s recent sale of his pre-IPO shares to George Soros. There is still a bid and there is definitely still an offer for Lyft as the company has its first foray on the public markets.
Additionally, there’s zero doubt that the initial public offering received a ton of media coverage over the last week. It was easily the most talked about story on most financial media. But to me, that coverage was either – intentionally or unintentionally – mostly bullish. And in an environment where IPOs no longer need to be profitable, I strongly believe there needs to be a counterbalance to the way that the media presents IPOs like Lyft to the public.
Personally, aside from conveniently avoiding the fact that Lyft is a money losing company in their coverage, the media fails to deliver a very important message to potential retail investors: an IPO isn’t necessarily getting in early, it is often times when the company’s founders and early investors have a chance to exit.
Not only that, but the media often generally fails to point out that it is in the best interest of the company’s existing shareholders to push for the highest valuation possible and the highest IPO possible when a company goes public. That needs to be considered, along with an array of other inconvenient-sounding-yet-very-true facts about IPOs, when investors consider a company that is finally being offered to the public.
And so, while I don’t have a decidedly bearish or bullish take on Lyft, I do think that there needs to be more importance placed on objectively reporting exactly how an IPO works.