What happened

Shares of Upstart Holdings (NASDAQ:UPST) are up 11.2% in 1:20 p.m. EDT trading Monday after Barclays Capital nearly doubled its price target on the artificial intelligence-powered lending platform and recent fintech IPO.

In a note out this morning, Barclays lifted its price target on Upstart from $58 a share to $110, despite leaving its rating on the stock unchanged at "equal weight."

Green arrow trending up over the numerals 2021.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

So why change the price target if the rating is standing pat?

In one respect, Barclays seems to be chasing the stock price higher here. Upstart stock hasn't traded anywhere near $58 since before its recent earnings report. And Barclays doesn't see much chance of Upstart returning to those price levels, given the "material" earnings and guidance beat the company reported last week.

Now what

Speaking of which, in that earnings report Upstart announced profits more than 3 times what Wall Street had expected -- $0.07 per share -- alongside a revenue beat as well. Adding to the good news, Upstart promised investors they would see revenues ranging from $112 million to $118 million in the first quarter (Wall Street was predicting less than $74 million) -- and revenues of perhaps $500 million for 2021 as a whole (Wall Street was only looking for $354 million).  

So long as those sales keep growing, and earnings keep beating, Upstart stock looks like it's going nowhere but...up.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.