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Coinbase Gets Neutral Rating from Goldman Sachs After Crypto Rally

Coinbase Gets Neutral Rating from Goldman Sachs After Crypto Rally

TL;DR

  • Goldman Sachs upgrades Coinbase from sell to neutral, following a rally in the crypto market and Coinbase’s strong performance in Q4 2023.
  • The bank raises its price target on Coinbase to $280 but still sees risks from regulation, security, and competition, as well as a high valuation and dependence on transaction fees.
  • The bank says a neutral rating is more appropriate for Coinbase, as the stock is fairly valued, and will keep an eye on the crypto space and Coinbase’s performance.

Goldman Sachs, one of the largest investment banks in the world, has upgraded its rating on Coinbase, the leading cryptocurrency exchange in the US, from sell to neutral, following a surge in the price of Bitcoin and other digital assets.

The bank had previously given Coinbase a sell rating in June 2023, when it initiated coverage on the stock with a price target of $130, citing concerns over valuation, competition, and regulatory uncertainty. At the time, Coinbase was trading at around $220, down from its peak of $429 in April 2023, shortly after its direct listing on Nasdaq.

However, since then, the crypto market has rebounded strongly, with Bitcoin reaching a new all-time high of over $100,000 in February 2024, and the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies surpassing $3 trillion. 

Coinbase has also benefited from the increased demand and activity, reporting record revenue and earnings in the fourth quarter of 2023, as well as adding more users, assets, and features to its platform.

What Are the Risks and Opportunities for Coinbase in the Crypto Space

Coinbase Gets Neutral Rating from Goldman Sachs After Crypto Rally

As a result, Goldman Sachs has revised its outlook on Coinbase, raising its price target to $280, which is still below the current market price of around $310. The bank acknowledged that Coinbase has a “leading and differentiated position” in the crypto ecosystem and that its revenue and profitability are “highly correlated” with the price and volume of cryptocurrencies.

However, the bank also noted that Coinbase faces “significant risks” from regulatory uncertainty, cyberattacks, hacking, and competition from both traditional financial institutions and emerging crypto-native platforms. 

The bank also warned that Coinbase’s valuation is “still rich” compared to its peers in the fintech and exchange sectors and that its growth prospects may be limited by its reliance on transaction fees, which account for over 80% of its revenue.

Therefore, the bank concluded that a neutral rating is “more appropriate” for Coinbase at this stage, as the stock is “fairly valued” given the current market conditions and expectations. The bank added that it will continue to monitor the developments in the crypto space and the performance of Coinbase and that it may adjust its rating and price target accordingly in the future.

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