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Coinbase Downgraded Due To Murky Crypto Market: ‘Run-Rate Warrants Caution For 2023’

Coinbase Global Inc (NASDAQ:COIN) shares traded lower by 3.7% on Wednesday after one Wall Street analyst threw in the towel on the beaten-down stock.

The Analyst: Bank of America analyst Jason Kupferberg downgraded Coinbase from Neutral to Underperform and cut his price target from $50 to $35.

The Thesis: In the downgrade note, Kupferberg said Coinbase's fourth-quarter crypto transaction volume coupled with a murky outlook for the crypto market as a whole in 2023 suggests Coinbase will likely not meet consensus revenue expectations this year.

Related Link: Coinbase Investors Applaud Layoffs: Is The Stock Turning Around, Or Does Bitcoin 'Have A Date With $10K'?

"Given the volatile crypto environment, we think it will be challenging for shares to tolerate a significant downward revision to consensus estimates," Kupferberg said.

Coinbase's "current volume run-rate warrants caution for '23," he added. Volumes will likely fall well short of consensus estimates. He projects $589 billion in crypto volume in 2023, far below current consensus forecasts of $815 billion.

Kupferberg praised Coinbase for its layoffs and other cost-cutting measures, which confirm the company is prioritizing balance sheet liquidity in a difficult environment. However, Bank of America's 2023 transaction revenue estimate of $1.264 billion and total revenue estimate of $2.253 billion are below current consensus Wall Street estimates by 32% and 24%, respectively.

Following 1,100 job cuts in 2022, Coinbase's upcoming round of 950 job cuts will reduce its total workforce by about 35% since June 2022.

Related Link: Coinbase Lays Off 950 Employees – CEO Armstrong Blames 'Current Economic Climate And Crypto Market'

Benzinga's Take: The 2021 crypto boom was a bust in 2022. Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) prices are down 74.7% from peak levels in November 2021. With interest rates expected to continue to rise in the first quarter, it's difficult to see much upside for crypto or Coinbase in the medium-term.

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