Behind Upstart Stock's Recent Selloff

UPST and Alliant Credit Union announced a partnership last week

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Upstart Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:UPST) provides an AI lending platform that partners with banks and credit unions to provide consumer loans using non-traditional variables, such as education and employment, to predict creditworthiness. Late last week Alliant Credit Union, a top credit union in the U.S., announced that it selected Upstart Holdings for a personal lending fintech partnership which will offer AI-powered personal loans.

Upstart stock lost 18.1% last week after logging three-straight daily drops of 5% or more. The security is on track to log its fourth-consecutive tumble, last seen down 6.4% at $26.62. With pressure at the 70-day moving average keeping a lid on the equity's mid-August rally attempt, UPST has lost more than 82% this year. 

The stock is heavily shorted right now, with short interest rising 12.9% in the last two reporting periods. Now, the 25.84 million shares sold short make up 37.1% of the stock's available float. 

UPST’s valuation continues to be on the higher end at a forward price-earnings ratio of 54.95. It has a price-sales ratio of 3.24. Moreover, the AI lending company's growth rate is expected to slow significantly, with estimates predicting just a 5.7% increase in revenues for fiscal 2022 after reporting 281% revenue growth for fiscal 2021. UPST is also expected to end fiscal 2022 with a 70.9% decrease in earnings, making Upstart stock a fundamentally high-risk play in the short-term.

However, the AI lending company’s fiscal 2023 estimates do suggest it will generate a 6.7% increase in revenues and a 91.3% increase in earnings, providing some hope for its long-term growth. Still, Upstart stock needs to see a significant correction in valuation before it can be considered a viable option from a risk-reward perspective.


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