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The Ratings Game: SoFi shares have taken too heavy a beating ahead of ‘significant earnings momentum,’ analyst says


SoFi Technologies Inc. shares have taken too much of a beating, according to a Piper Sandler analyst who upgraded the stock Monday.

Piper Sandler’s Kevin Barker said in a Monday note to clients that the market has been “over-discounting” SoFi’s stock
following a 70% plunge in the six months prior to his report.

While “the combination of an extension of the student-loan moratorium, rising interest rates and heavy pressure on fintech stocks have weighed on shares,” Barker likes the company’s earnings momentum moving forward. He sees room for the financial-technology company to deliver “a significant ramp” in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) in the back half of 2022, and then to continue on that strong trajectory in the two years that follow.

See also: SoFi tops expectations with latest earnings, gives mixed outlook

“The combination of rapid growth in deposits, the expiration of the student-loan moratorium and revenue growth in the financial services segment should lead to significant earnings momentum throughout 2023 and 2024,” Barker wrote. “This will become more apparent as we move through the back half of 2022 and lead to a better multiple on the stock.”

He keyed in on SoFi’s recent disclosure that it was seeing $100 million of new deposits every week, which Barker said would give the company upwards of $4 billion in deposits by the end of this year if it stays at its current pace. Such a dynamic “would drive down the company’s cost of capital and reduce the company’s reliance on loan sales to drive revenue,” he continued.

Barker noted that Piper Sandler macroeconomic researchers expect President Joe Biden to extend the student-loan moratorium through the end of the year and move to cancel $10,000 in debt per borrower, but he said that SoFi’s management team has already baked this into estimates.

Read: SoFi executives expect student-loan moratorium to be extended through 2022

An eventual end to the moratorium, however, “should lead to a rush of people looking to refinance their debt in early 2023 along with originations jumping back to $2.0B+,” Barker wrote. The expiration of the pause on student-loan payments could give SoFi an additional $20 million to $30 million in annual Ebitda, he added.

Barker raised his rating on SoFi’s stock to overweight from neutral, while cutting his price target to $10 from $12. Shares of SoFi increased 2.4% in Monday’s session, closing at $6.91.

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