BNPL lender Affirm’s shares tumble after gloomy full-year revenue forecast
Shares of Affirm Holdings Inc tumbled 11% in morning trading on Friday after the buy-now-pay-later lender forecast full-year revenue below Wall Street estimates, underscoring the broader downturn in the fortunes of the once high-flying fintech sector.
Rising rates, geopolitical turmoil and a sector-wide sell-off in high-growth technology stocks have together hit investor sentiment, leading to billions being shaved off the company’s market cap with shares down nearly 70% so far this year.
“In light of the uncertain macroeconomic backdrop, we are approaching our next fiscal year prudently,” said Chief Financial Officer Michael Linford.
Affirm said on Thursday it expects full-year 2023 revenue to be between $1.63 billion and $1.73 billion, below estimates of $1.9 billion, according to Refinitiv data.
“The company’s guidance implies revenue growth slowing to 37% from 87% in FY23 due to combination of tough comparisons and tighter underwriting standards,” Kevin Barker, managing director at Piper Sandler, covering consumer and mortgage finance firms, told Reuters.
The fintech is also among the top trending tickers on retail investor-focused forum StockTwits on Friday, with message volumes surging over 200% on the stock.
Red hot inflation has also played spoilsport for consumer finance companies as surging costs dampen purchasing power forcing Americans, especially those in the lower income bracket, to tighten their purse strings.
The company said it expects revenue in the first quarter to be between $345 million and $365 million, below analysts’ expectations of $386 million.
“There is no competitive moat for this business and Affirm’s earnings results proved it. The pie might grow, but the number of players competing for slices has too,” said Thomas Hayes, chairman and managing member at Great Hill Capital.
Affirm is trading at a premium to its net worth and is moderately valued compared with peers Block Inc and PayPal Holdings Inc.
(Reporting by Manya Saini and Mehnaz Yasmin in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)
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