Elevate Credit Not Chased After Quiet Period Reports Issued

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Elevate Credit Inc. (NYSE: ELVT) recently came public, and its overallotment option being exercised raised the total number of shares sold to 14.26 million. The offering price of $6.50 per share brought net proceeds of about $81 million, after deducting fees and commissions tied to the IPO. Now the quiet period has come to an end, but not all the firms from the underwriting syndicate have issued their first research reports.

UBS Securities, Credit Suisse and Jefferies acted as joint book-running managers for the offering. Stifel Nicolaus and William Blair also participated in the offering.

24/7 Wall St. has not seen all the underwriting firms issue investor recommendations from their analysts yet, but some of the firms have started to issue analyst reports.

The company offers innovative online credit solutions for nonprime consumers. It uses technology risk analytics to provide financial options to customers with lower credit scores who are not well-served by banks or traditional non-prime lenders. Its Rise product is an installment loan product to consumers in roughly 15 states in the United States, and Sunny is its installment loan product name in the United Kingdom.

Elevate Credit was started as Outperform at William Blair. Stifel also started it as Buy, but Stifel’s target price is up at $12.

Shares of Elevate Credit were down four cents at $8.21 on the heels of the initial reports being issued. Note that the main firms that underwrote the IPO have yet to formally issue their research reports. Elevate Credit has a post-IPO trading range of $7.00 to $8.86.

Back on April 18, a firm called Compass Point Research & Trading, not a member of the underwriting, posted a Neutral rating and $9 price target. Elevate Credit’s share price was $8.08 at that time. Compass Point’s report said:

We like the company’s 20%+ top-line growth, strong ROE, large addressable market, and relatively favorable competitive positioning (between lower tier payday lenders and tighter-credit installment lenders), which should help keep customer acquisition costs contained over the nearterm. However, increasing fears around consumer credit following years of a relatively benign environment, coupled with regulatory risk and a substantial lockup overhang keep us on the sidelines. Valuation screens reasonable on 2018E earnings but we believe forward estimates should be discounted given that key risks remain, the company is only projected to be modestly profitable in 2017, and leverage remains high. Aside from a lower valuation, we could become more positive if operating leverage begins to emerge faster than anticipated, growth surpasses expectations, or if credit performance comes in stronger than our model. We would also like to get on the other side of the IPO lock-up expiration. On the other hand, if losses trend materially higher and profitability expectations move farther out, we could become more negative.