Uber's market debut sours most anticipated IPO since Facebook

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR UCLA ANDERSON- Ursula Burns chairman and CEO Xerox Corporation recipient of the 2015 John Wooden Global Leadership Award speaks at the Eighth Annual John Wooden Global Leadership Award Dinner at the Beverly Wilshire hotel on Tue

Yet the ride-hailing company picked a week for its IPO plagued by market turbulence fueled by U.S.

By Joshua FranklinNEW YORK:Uber Technologies Inc priced its initial public offering on Thursday at the low end of its targeted range to raise $8.1 billion, adopting a risk-averse stance toward the most high-profile USA listing since Facebook Inc seven years ago.

"We view Uber's conservative pricing as a smart and prudent strategy coming out of the box as it clearly learned from its "little brother" Lyft, and the experience it has gone through over the past month", Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives said.

The stock extended losses into the close even as US equities stabilized on renewed optimism that an all-out trade war can be averted, even after the USA decision to slap fresh tariffs on Chinese goods overnight. Uber last raised money from Toyota Motor Corp.in August, at a valuation of about US$76 billion.

This year, widely expected to be the busiest for mega USA tech listings this century, started with a partial government shutdown that shuttered the agency that approves IPO documents for 35 days, all but killing activity in the first quarter. Khosrowshahi reportedly declined to invite Kalanick to take part at the opening bell. The trading debut will be closely watched by the cavalcade of other tech startups that are expected to go public this year, including Slack Technologies Inc, Postmates Inc, Peloton Interactive Inc and WeWork Cos.

"Uber is basically Lyft 2.0".

While early-stage Uber investors such as Benchmark, Menlo Ventures, First Round Capital and Lowercase Capital made a killing in the IPO, some late-stage backers did not fare as well.

Despite Uber moderating its IPO expectations, some still consider the stock overpriced.

After much hype leading up to the largest initial public offering in five years, Uber hit a few potholes on its first day of trading, closing down 8% and reflecting lingering doubts about its future prospects for profitability. Robert Johnson, professor of finance at Heider College of Business, Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska said.

It is an underwhelming result for the most anticipated IPO since Facebook Inc's market debut seven years ago. Uber, he said, has plans to be more than a ride-hailing company by being all things transportation to users of its app, offering deliveries, scooters, bicycles and links to other modes of transportation including public mass transit systems. The San Francisco-based company lost $3.04 billion last year on an operating basis on revenue of $11.3 billion, bringing total operating losses over the past three years to more than $10 billion, according to filings.

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