Analysts Chime In on LYFT After Self-Driving Unit Sale

The company move up its profitability timeline by one quarter

Assistant Editor
Apr 27, 2021 at 10:34 AM
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Ridesharing platform Lyft Inc (NASDAQ:LYFT) is in the spotlight this morning, after news that the company is selling its self-driving technology unit to Toyota (TM). The $550 million deal, which will close later this year, enabled Lyft to move up its profitability timeline by one quarter. To follow, Needham initiated coverage of the security with a "hold" rating, while BTIG and Truist Securities upped their price targets to $80 and $70, respectively. 

At last check, LYFT is up 1.6% to trade at $64.06 -- inching above recent pressure at the $65 level. Furthermore, with long-term support from the 60-day moving average swooping in to catch its recent pullback, today's pop has the stock climbing back up toward its March 18, annual high of $68.28. In the last six months, LYFT has added 182.3%.

On the analyst front, there is still some room for upgrades, though sentiment is mostly bullish. Coming into today, seven of 26 analysts in coverage carried a tepid "hold" rating, while 19 said "buy" or better. Plus, the stock's 12-month target price of $67.60 is a 4.1% premium to current levels.

Meanwhile, short interest represents 9.5% of Lyft stock's available float. In other words, it would take nearly four days to buy back these bearish bets, at the security's average pace of trading.

The options pits also lean firmly in the bullish camp. This is per LYFT's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 5.11 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which sits in the 86th percentile of the past 12 months. In other words, long puts are being picked up at a quicker-than-usual clip.

Now looks like a good time to weigh in on the security's next move with options. The stock is seeing attractively priced premiums at the moment, per Lyft stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 57%, which sits in just 19th percentile of its annual range. 

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