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Here's Why Upstart Stock Soared to a New All-Time High on Wednesday

By Matthew Frankel, CFP® – Aug 18, 2021 at 1:42PM

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The fintech disruptor has delivered remarkable returns but continues to climb.

What happened

The stock of Upstart Holdings (UPST -1.94%) has been on fire lately and is continuing its stellar performance today. As of 1 p.m. EDT, it was more than 8% higher after rallying as much as 10% earlier in the session.

It's worth noting that this is just the latest move higher. Upstart reported its earnings last week and gained about 25% after the report. Then, analyst upgrades and market optimism continued to push the stock higher. In all, it has gained more than 90% over the past month, and is now trading for roughly 11 times its initial public offering price from just nine months ago.

So what

There are a couple of likely reasons we're seeing Upstart's stock move higher yet again, but one in particular stands out. In addition to continued optimism among analysts, market commentators, and other industry professionals, Upstart just announced that it was raising $575 million in fresh capital through a convertible bond offering.

In a nutshell, the company is issuing these bonds and paying a minuscule 0.25% interest rate on the debt, a tremendously advantageous cost of capital. The bonds will mature in 2026 and will be convertible to stock at a price of $285.26 per share.

Now what

This bond issuance could potentially dilute current shareholders, but only if the stock rises over 30% from its current price. And in the meantime, Upstart is getting a ton of capital to build out its red-hot artificial-intelligence powered lending platform for next to nothing. It's not tough to see why investors might be applauding this move.

Matthew Frankel, CFP has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Upstart Holdings, Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

Upstart Stock Quote
$18.67 (-1.94%) $0.37

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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