SoFi Technologies (SOFI 2.83%) has fallen prey to the stock market's madness as of late. Fast-growing technology stocks have suffered the most, as news of future interest rate hikes and panic surrounding Russia and Ukraine have triggered investors to seek refuge in more established companies. As a result, SoFi shares have tanked 68% in the past six months and are trading near the company's 52-week low.
SoFi could be labeled a speculative investment because it's likely several years away from a positive bottom line. As long-term investors, it's our responsibility to determine if companies like SoFi will be profitable in the future. In SoFi's case, profitability appears very feasible -- the company is a participant in a multi-trillion dollar market and continues to report striking financials quarter after quarter. Prudent investors shouldn't hesitate in considering adding SoFi to their portfolios today.
A record fourth quarter
For those who don't know, SoFi provides financial products including student and auto loan refinancing, mortgages, personal loans, credit card services, investing, and banking via mobile app and desktop. Investors should be very pleased with the way SoFi wrapped up 2021. The company reported an adjusted top line of $1.01 billion, translating to a robust 63% increase year over year. Fourth-quarter adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) amounted to $5 million, representing the sixth consecutive quarter where the metric finished positive.
Member adds grew 39% sequentially in the final quarter, with SoFi's total member count equaling 3.5 million as of year-end 2021. Although SoFi reported a net loss of $1 per share, the company demonstrated notable progress from its loss of $4.30 per share a year ago. Management expects the suspension of federal student loan payments -- which was set to expire on May 1 but now will be extended again -- to negatively impact its first-quarter revenue by as much as $35 million.
Had the student loan moratorium expired in January as originally planned, management forecasts that revenue would have reached between $310 million and $320 million in the first quarter. However, it is now projecting a top line of $280 million to $285 million, indicating 30% to 32% growth year over year. For the full year, management expects adjusted sales to eclipse $1.57 billion, equal to a 55% increase from 2021. This is still extremely impressive growth, and investors should be elated by SoFi's ability to navigate ongoing challenges. On the profitability front, analysts are modeling an adjusted EPS loss of $0.45 in 2022. Again, positive net profits can't be expected this year, thought it's reassuing to see that SoFi is moving in the right direction.
An alluring valuation
In October 2021, SoFi was trading at 7.2 times sales. Today, the company pegs a price-to-sales multiple of 5.4. Fundamentally speaking, the slump in valuation is staggering considering SoFi's 63% growth in 2021 and projected expansion above 50% in the upcoming year.
SoFi is also trading at a discount to most of its fintech counterparts. Companies like Lemonade, Upstart, and Affirm all carry price-to-sales multiples larger than SoFi's. In that way, it appears that SoFi's recent share price struggles have brought forth an attractive valuation for the company.
SoFi could be a good play today
SoFi's losses make it a risky investment today. That said, the proof is in the pudding -- SoFi continues to demonstrate its ability to grow rapidly, even with obstacles like the student loan moratorium lingering over the company's head. As the abandonment of cash in everyday transactions gains momentum, the demand for SoFi's services will likely increase. And considering that SoFi's valuation has reached 52-week lows, now might be the right time to add this stock to your long-term portfolio.