Fintech stocks haven't been a high-performing group this year as investors flee to safe stocks. As a category, fintech is high-growth and tech-based, two labels that for the most part describe a riskier class of stocks.
But just because many fintechs are out of favor right now, that doesn't mean they don't have a great future. Many are demonstrating soaring growth even amid bearish market conditions, and it's only a matter of time until investors recognize the opportunities they offer.
One stock that's been volatile lately is digital credit card platform Marqeta (MQ -11.05%). Its price has only fallen since debuting on the stock market last year at $27. It's down about 75% since then. At this price, the average Wall Street analyst target is 60% higher, with a high estimate of 114%. What should investors think?
A simple and useful product
Marqeta sells a software-as-a-service product that allows corporate clients to completely customize a credit card to fit their needs. For example, Uber uses the platform to manage financial transactions with drivers, and Block uses the technology to power its Square card.
Even if many companies are suffering along with the world's economy, they still need to move ahead with their businesses. That gives business-to-business companies an edge in this market, and explains why Marqeta is posting great results in this environment.
In the 2022 second quarter, revenue increased 53% year over year to $187 million, and gross profit increased 66% to $78 million. The net loss narrowed from $68 million last year to $45 million this year. The company also added 40 new credit APIs to its platform to boost its capabilities and make it more user-friendly. APIs, or application programming interfaces, connect users with the technology and are the basis of the Marqeta platform.
Management is estimating that revenue will increase about 37% year over year in the third quarter and for the gross margin to slightly widen from 42% in the second quarter.
Changes at the helm
The big news in the second-quarter report was that founder and Chief Executive Officer Jason Gardner was stepping down from his daily management role. Wall Street never likes it when a founder leaves a company, and that news was the major reason behind the stock's plunge after the report.
That might not be as bad as it sounds. Gardner explained that he's leaving his post because he's the entrepreneur behind the product, but as a publicly held company, Marqeta is ready for its next growth phase, requiring a leader with a different skill set. He will remain as chairman of the board and stay involved with product development and corporate culture.
It's reasonable for investors to lose confidence when there's a new CEO search, especially for a young, recently public growth company that's still moving toward stability. It's different than when a large blue chip announces a CEO switch. Marqeta's stock price is likely to stay depressed until the announcement of a new CEO, and a new leader demonstrates the ability to steer the company toward sustainable growth.
Why Marqeta stock could soar
The reduced share price puts Marqeta stock back in the deal zone. There's risk with the CEO change, in addition to the company still posting net losses and expanding its business. But the growth opportunity looks very compelling.
Marqeta stock is also at its cheapest since going public, according to its price-to-sales ratio.
Risk-tolerant investors might want to take a position while the stock is cheap, but don't expect high gains in the short term.