Upstart (UPST 3.44%) has been one of the most disruptive stocks to come on the market this year, soaring more than 1,000% at one point. However, there's reason to believe that the AI-based consumer lending specialist still has 10-bagger potential.
In this segment of "The Five" recorded on Nov. 23, Fool contributors Connor Allen and Jason Hall discuss Upstart's disruptive potential and its risks.
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Jason Hall: Connor, what's you got for us?
Connor Allen: Taylor, I got to say I like Coinbase as well. I think they've got a great first mover advantage there, especially with all the regulations coming up. But for me, my stock that I would pick to 10X would have to be Upstart. Upstart's a recommendation on a lot of Fool services. They're basically redoing the way that FICO credit scores and loans are done. As their price is going down after their earnings which went pretty well, their valuation just continues to look better and better to me. Like if you look at some of the forward projections of price to earnings, it's really not that bad, like you're looking at 40-50 times earnings if you zoom out a few years or even a few months. I think Upstart right now with the valuation it's at is pretty good, especially with the growth that they are expecting in the next few years and the new customers that they're getting and all the big banks. As long as nothing major happens, I think there's a ton of organic growth to just be had if Upstart continues to chug along and do what it's doing. Obviously, if a major bank decided to start doing its own algorithm similar to what Upstart does in order to give out loans, then something could go awry, especially if its system starts to have default rates that are higher than FICO, that's also another risk. But I think that the current business and some organic growth in the future could definitely bring this to a 10X stock.
Jason Hall: I think the potential is there and thinking about a company in terms of just like the pure social good that they are doing as well too, it's incredible. If there's an industry that's ready for ripe for this disruption, it's lending. Some of those lending think about like auto lending and particularly like subprime lenders. I love what they're doing. I want to emphasize the risk factor of defaults. Until we've gone through a full credit cycle, we're not going to know how good their credit quality is. We're not. You can wargame it all you want, you can simulate it all you want. But until you go through a full economic cycle with an economic downturn and people going through unemployment, all that thing, we just don't know what their credit quality is. That is a very real risk and it may take 3-5 years before we find out more about. That's the one thing that I've been really cautious with about Upstart, but I love what they're doing and I think, Connor, you're right. It definitely has 10 bagger or more potential even from where it is now.