Monday, July 15, 2024

Coinbase reports better-than-expected user numbers even as third-quarter revenue plunges

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In this photo illustration, the Coinbase logo is displayed on a smartphone screen.

Rafael Henrique | SOPA Images | Lightrocket | Getty Images

Coinbase reported user numbers that topped analysts’ estimates even as third-quarter revenue missed estimates and the cryptocurrency exchange had a wider-than-expected loss. The stock popped in extended trading.

Here’s how the company did:

  • Earnings: Loss of $2.43 per share, adjusted, vs. loss of $2.40 per share as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.
  • Revenue: $590 million, vs. $654 million as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.

Revenue plummeted more than 50% from a year earlier as traders turned away from cryptocurrencies. The company’s financials turned south, resulting in a loss of $545 million after Coinbase generated a profit of over $400 million a year earlier.

“Transaction revenue was significantly impacted by stronger macroeconomic and crypto market headwinds, as well as trading volume moving offshore,” Coinbase said in its investor letter.

The stock has lost more than three-quarters of its value this year due to a plunge in crypto prices couples with a retreat from the riskiest equities. Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, is down more than 70% from its all-time high in Nov. 2021.

Coinbase’s user base has been declining throughout the year. The company said it had 8.5 million monthly transacting users (MTUs) during the third quarter, down from 9 million the prior period and 9.2 million in the first quarter. Analysts were expecting 7.84 million, according to StreetAccount.

For the full year, Coinbase said its monthly user number will be “slightly below” 9 million. The company said it’s “cautiously optimistic” it will operate within the $500 million adjusted “loss guardrail” that it set for the year.

Retail transaction revenue came in at $346.1 million, down from $1.02 billion a year earlier and below the $454.2 million consensus among analysts polled by StreetAccount.

October trading volume was $47 billion, and monthly users through October were roughly in-line with the third-quarter results, according to the filing. Coinbase said that in the fourth quarter “we expect lower trading volume and a similar number of MTUs compared to our Q3 results.”

After its stock market debut last year, Coinbase staffed up to meet surging demand for crypto trading tools and enthusiasm around emerging coins. But momentum completely reversed in 2022, forcing the company to slash headcount. In June, Coinbase said it was eliminating 18% of full-time jobs, translating into more than 1,000 cuts.

Ethereum accounted for 33% of trading volume in the quarter, up from 22% in the prior period, and 31% came from bitcoin. However, only 24% of transaction revenue came from ethereum, while bitcoin accounted for 31%, even with its volume.

In September, ethereum underwent a years-in-the-making upgrade known as the merge, which was designed to cut the cryptocurrency’s energy consumption by more than 99%.

Executives will discuss the results on a conference call starting at 5:30 p.m. ET.

This news is breaking. Check back for updates.

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