Financial technology company Upstart (UPST -0.41%) aims to disrupt the way that banks lend money to consumers, and the early results have been successful. In fact, Upstart's business has grown so quickly that the stock has increased more than tenfold in just nine months since the company's IPO.
Well, it doesn't look like Upstart's stock is out of gas just yet. As of 3 p.m. EDT, Upstart is higher by about 9% and trades for roughly $269 per share. And just to put this in context, Upstart went public at a share price of just $20 in December.
The reason behind today's move is analyst-related. Specifically, Atlantic Equities initiated coverage on Upstart on Tuesday, giving the fintech an overweight rating and a $290 price target. Based on the previous closing price, this target represented about 17% upside potential, so it's not difficult to see why investors are reacting positively to the news.
To be perfectly clear, it's a good practice to take analyst upgrades (and downgrades) with a big grain of salt. They have absolutely no effect on the company's underlying business.
That said, if we look at Upstart's latest results, it's not difficult to see why analysts might have a positive opinion of the company's potential. In the second quarter, Upstart's bank partners originated $2.8 billion of loans on the platform, 62% more on a quarter-over-quarter basis, and this is largely made up of personal loan volume. The untapped auto lending market is massive, and Upstart is making a big push into it.