The Latest: Uber off to a rough start on Wall Street

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on ride-hailing giant Uber’s initial public stock offering (all times local):

12:39 p.m.

Uber is suffering a terrible first day as a public company as its shares slid into negative territory in the initial moments of trading.

That’s highly unusual, especially for a high-profile tech company like Uber. Shares of rid-sharing rival Lyft soared 21% at one point during its initial public offering in late March. But that company has had a rough ride since, falling almost 30% since it debuted.

Some analysts pointed to volatile market conditions over the past few weeks, and Friday as well. All major U.S. markets are in decline, having fallen 3% or more this week.

SharesPost principal analyst Alejandro Ortiz said the timing for Uber trading to start was bad with the uncertainty over the trade spat with China. He said that if you saw value in Uber at its IPO price of $45, nothing has changed in the last 48 hours.

Shares of Uber Technologies Inc. are down more than 1%, but had fallen more severely in early trading.

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11:59 a.m.

Uber’s shares began trading about $2 below its initial public offering price of $45.

Traders scratched their heads Friday, trying to remember a high-profile IPO like Uber going south on the first day.

Shares of Lyft, a rival in the ride-sharing business, are tumbling 6%. That company has had a very rough time since it went public at the end of March. It hit a new all-time low Friday.

CEO Dara Khosrowshahi tried to control expectations, telling CNBC that Uber investors are in it for the long ride. He says the company will be judged on what it does in three to five years.

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10:50 a.m.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi (DAH-rah CAWS-row-SHAH-hee) is trying to tamp down the hype on the first day that the general public will be allowed to buy stock in the company.

Khosrowshahi says as much as he wants things to go well during Uber’s first day as a public company, what’s more important is what is created in the next three to five years.

Both Uber co-founders, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, were also present at the exchange for the opening but absent from the podium during the bell ringing.

Tony West, Uber’s chief legal officer who has been working to repair Uber’s image while settling lawsuits around the globe, shot smartphone videos from the floor while waiting for the first trade.

Uber becomes a publicly traded company Friday. Shares are expected to begin trading before noon.

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10:10 a.m.

The opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange was rung by Austin Geidt, one of Uber’s earliest employees.

She joined the company in 2010 and is now head of strategy for Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group, which works on autonomous vehicles. She and CEO Dara Khosrowshahi were joined by Uber drivers from around the world and other Uber executives at the NYSE.

Uber becomes a publicly traded company Friday. Shares are expected to begin trading before noon.

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9:30 a.m.

With a ring of the opening bell Uber is looking to pick up passengers as a newly public company. Investors waited to bet on a service with huge potential, but a long way from turning a profit.

Shares in the ride-hailing giant were sold in an initial public offering for $45 each, raising $8.1 billion, but it will take several hours for new investors to show whether they’re interested. Officials expect trading to start around 11:30 a.m. Friday.

CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and other company officials stood on a balcony above the New York Stock Exchange as the bell rang to signal the start of the day’s trading. Khosrowshahi posed for selfies and after the bell while controversial co-founder Travis Kalanick and other Uber officials and employees stood on the trading floor.

The IPO came in at the lower end of Uber’s targeted price range of $44 to $50 per share. The caution may have been driven by escalating doubts about the ability of ride-hailing services to make money since Uber’s main rival, Lyft, went public six weeks ago.

Even at the tamped-down price, Uber now has a market value of $82 billion — five times more than Lyft’s.

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