Apr 16, 2019 - Technology

Lyft's cry to early investors: "Remember Facebook!"

Data: Investing.com; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios
Data: Investing.com; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

Lyft has fallen spectacularly since its impressive first day of trading, and with most early investors' shares still in lock-up, it may be poised for more losses.

What's happening: The company has disappointed investors and has been seized upon by short sellers, who are making a killing. Short interest had risen to $944 million as of Friday, with 15.5 million shares shorted, totaling nearly 65% of the float, or the shares available for purchase, according to data from S3 Partners.

Yes, but: Lyft is hoping this is just a rough start and can point to the early trials of Facebook to reassure investors that all is not lost. Facebook's stock lost half its value before the end of its 90-day "lock-up" period — a holding time typically 90–180 days during which certain shareholders are barred from selling their stock.

  • When the period ended, Facebook shares fell further, dropping to $19.05 a share. Early investor Peter Thiel cashed out the majority of his investment around that time, and Accel Partners, another of Facebook's early backers, reportedly dumped 50 million shares on the market.
  • Trading volume in the stock after its lock-up ended was unusually high, with 157 million shares trading hands, versus a 30-day average of 31 million, per the New York Times.

What Lyft will be telling investors: The shares Thiel sold for around $400 million would be worth closer to $4 billion today with Facebook trading near $180 a share.

Go deeper: Lyft's rocky IPO

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