Uber could go public at a stock price that would make it more valuable than some of the best-known names in the S&P 500.
The ride-hailing company plans to list shares between $44 and $50 in its upcoming initial public offering, several news outlets reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. That would value the company at as high as $90 billion when it lists on the New York Stock Exchange, according to a Bloomberg report.
The eye-popping figure would make it more valuable than S&P juggernauts like DowDuPont, General Electric and Caterpillar, according to data from Finviz.com. It would also top Morgan Stanley and BlackRock, with market capitalizations of $81 billion and $74 billion, respectively.
Market capitalization, or "market cap," is the total dollar amount of a company's outstanding shares, which can be calculated by multiplying the firm's outstanding shares by the price of one share.
Uber is different from its potential market-cap peers in a key way — it's not making money.
The San Francisco-based start-up has been mounting billion-dollar losses ahead of its market debut. Its adjusted losses totaled $1.85 billion in 2018, according to its initial IPO prospectus. Those losses slowed from 2017, when Uber lost $2.6 billion. The company increased its revenue to $11.3 billion, up 43 percent year over year.
Most tech companies are not known for making money ahead of public offerings. Lyft, which went public in April, had a loss of $911 million on $2.1 billion in revenue last year. Twitter was losing money when it listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2013. Snap, Spotify and SurveyMonkey — which all listed in 2018 — were also bleeding money.
Market valuation expert Aswath Damodaran has said the recent totals are far too high — or as he put it, "scary."
"I'm a little scared of Uber at $100 billion," the NYU Stern professor told CNBC. "I think both Lyft and Uber are struggling with a way to convert revenue growth into profits. So you are paying $100 billion for a company that still doesn't have a viable business model. That's scary."