That’s because Coinbase’s direct listing has finally arrived. A direct listing is like an IPO, but the company doesn’t want to raise cash. It just wants to be publicly traded.
Coinbase set a reference price of $250 a share, which would value the company at $65 billion given the 260 million shares outstanding. No one expects the stock to open at $250, however.
Even at that lowball price, it’s worth just a touch less than Intercontinental Exchange, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, which has a market cap of about $83 billion.
But Coinbase is growing very quickly. In 2020, Coinbase generated about $1.3 billion in revenue and $320 million in net income. In the first quarter of 2021, the company generated $1.8 billion in revenue and about $750 million in income. It helps that Bitcoin continues to climb to all-time highs, as it did Wednesday morning.
As for JPMorgan, the company earned $4.50 a share, easily topping estimates for $3. Still, shares are down about 1% in premarket trading. CEO Jamie Dimon said consumer loan demand was “challenged.”
People have too much cash. Demand for Bitcoin, however, appears insatiable.
*** Where is the crypto market heading? How can you invest in blockchain technology? What’s ahead from Washington? MarketWatch and Barron’s journalists interview experts on how—and whether—to invest. Sign up to join today at 1 p.m.
Coinbase Isn’t the Only Company Going Public This Week
While everyone is talking about the first cryptocurrency exchange to be traded publicly in the U.S., several other noteworthy companies are listing shares as well this week.
- Coinbase, the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker COIN. Existing Coinbase stockholders have registered 114.85 million shares, according to a March 23 prospectus.
- Alkami Technology, which provides a cloud-based digital banking platform, debuts Wednesday as well. The company plans to sell 6 million shares at $26 to $28 each, raising as much as $168 million. The shares will trade under the symbol ALKT.
- Agilon Health, a healthcare services company, could raise as much as $1.07 billion when it starts trading on Thursday. It’s offering 46.6 million shares at $20 to $23 each and is scheduled to trade under the ticker AGL.
- Applovin, which provides software used by mobile-game developers, could raise as much as $2.13 billion when it debuts on Thursday. It’s offering 25 million shares at $75 to $85 each. The company plans to trade under the symbol APP.
What’s Next: Other public listings to watch this week include TuSimple, which supplies self-driving technology for trucks, online gambling company Esports Technologies, and biotech firms Akoya Biosciences, Biomea Fusion and Recursion Pharmaceutical.
—Luisa Beltran and Anita Hamilton
What to Know About the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Blood Clot Scare
The temporary pause of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine on blood clot concerns threatens not only to slow the U.S.’s goal of reaching herd immunity, but also to delay the country’s economic recovery as a whole by sowing fresh doubts about when the country can return to normal.
- Half a dozen women between the ages of 18 and 48 experienced severe blood clotting within two weeks of receiving the J&J vaccine, including one who died. States have stopped administering it, and Pfizer says it will ramp up production of its shot by 10% by the end of May.
- Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical advisor, called the clots “a totally rare event” on Tuesday, adding that using the blood thinner heparin to treat them “would be a mistake in this situation because that could be dangerous and make the situation worse.”
- The third vaccine to gain emergency use approval in the U.S., J&J’s drug accounts for less than 5% of total vaccine doses administered here. Around 7 million J&J shots have been given versus 100 million from Pfizer and 85 million from Moderna, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- While the J&J vaccine has been slow to roll out, it’s crucial to the administration’s goal of vaccinating harder-to-reach populations because it only requires one dose and doesn’t need ultracold storage. Herd immunity requires at least 70% of the population to be inoculated.
What’s Next: The CDC’s advisory panel will hold a meeting Wednesday to review the cases. Dr. Fauci said the pause in using the J&J vaccine could last anywhere from days to weeks.
—Anita Hamilton and Janet H. Cho
Apple Expected to Introduce New iPads at Virtual Event
After notching its best quarter ever at the end of last year, Apple is expected to introduce a slate of new iPads and other products at a virtual event streamed from its California headquarters on April 20.
- The new iPad Pros will feature faster processors, better cameras, and a brighter LED display, Bloomberg reported.
- The company is also expected to launch its long-rumored AirTags, an accessory to track easily lost devices. It may also upgrade its AirPods and announce new iMac desktop computers, CNBC reported.
- For the first time ever, Apple topped $100 billion in quarterly revenue at the end of 2020, as pandemic lockdowns led more consumers to buy laptops and tablets.
- The company has not confirmed which products it will announce and didn’t respond to Barron’s request for comment.
What’s Next: Apple shares closed up 2.4% Tuesday following news of the event. It reports its next quarterly earnings on April 28.
—Janet H. Cho
LVMH Shares Hit Historic High as Global Luxury Market Shrugs Off Crisis
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury group, said Wednesday that sales had jumped 30% year over year compared with the first quarter of 2020, illustrating the resilience of global luxury markets to the pandemic crisis.
- Revenue at the fashion and leather goods division, which accounts for about half the group’s sales, jumped 52% on a like-for-like basis in the same period, the company said in a statement.
- The U.S. and Asia showed strong growth, while European markets are still affected by lockdowns and other Covid-related restrictions, LVMH noted.
- The company’s shares rose 3% Wednesday on the news in stable European markets. The stock is up 45% since January 2020, before the pandemic hit the world economy.
- Like-for-like numbers don’t include results from U.S.-based jeweler Tiffany, which LVMH agreed to acquire last year in a $16 billion deal that was concluded in January.
What’s Next: Luxury markets seem to have bounced back and beyond: Shares of Hermès International, the smaller luxury rival that LVMH had tried in vain to acquire in 2010, have even outperformed the luxury giant’s throughout the pandemic.
$1 Trillion in Taxes May Go Uncollected Annually, IRS Says
As much as $1 trillion a year in federal taxes may be going unpaid because of errors, fraud and lack of resources to enforce collections, Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rettig told lawmakers, The Wall Street Journal reported.
- Rettig told the Senate Finance Committee that the last published data on the tax gap—the difference between taxes owed and tax collected—used returns from tax years 2011 to 2013. That reporting, to be updated next year, showed annual losses of $441 billion.
- The growth of cryptocurrencies and foreign-source income, as well as outside estimates that suggest a tax gap of $7.5 trillion over the next decade, mean previous IRS research has undercounted the losses, the Journal reported.
- The IRS collected more than $3.5 trillion in taxes in the 2019 fiscal year.
What’s Next: Ron Wyden, (D., Ore.), the committee’s chairman, pushed for additional funding for the agency. President Joe Biden’s budget proposal calls for a nearly 10% increase for the IRS.
I’m wondering if I am paranoid, or if I have reason to feel used.
My wife and I have two kids and own a home. We have had rocky moments throughout our marriage, but we are hanging in there. In 2019, I took a sales job thinking it would lead to more pay. I was wrong. It took a while for me to get my sales up and running, along with my commissions.
I had to start dipping into my savings to pay my part of the bills, which is usually a little more than half of what we spend. My wife, coincidentally, started making lots more money with her job, and made more than me during 2019. It was about 60/40.
She knew I was short and dipping into my savings, and offered to “loan” me money to pay back. I declined her offer and chose to borrow money from my company, which they called a “draw.” I was shocked and upset that she was treating our marriage like a business transaction.
Fast Forward to 2020. Fortunes changed. She received a $200,000 inheritance, plus $40,000 from her job as a severance after she was let go in March. The difficult sales job I had taken actually led to me landing a new job paying me well over six figures.
As I started my new job, and my wife received her money, she used part of her $200,000 inheritance to go on a spending spree: a $50,000 truck, and a $20,000 camping trailer. Amazon packages arrive every other day, and the rest is tucked in a savings account.
Here’s the thing. She won’t pay any bills anymore. She says she doesn’t have income coming in, except $3,200 from unemployment. She claims she shouldn’t have to pay any bills because she is now home with the kids during Covid, and I make six figures.
She also insists on “budgeting” so she can account for every dollar I spend, and make sure I put as much extra money after bills into our mortgage to pay the house off quicker. This feels like I’m being hustled, but I can’t force her to pay bills.
Am I a sucker?
Read The Moneyist’s response here.
—Newsletter edited by Anita Hamilton, Stacy Ozol, Matt Bemer, Ben Levisohn