Marqeta slumps 20% after earnings; JPM downgrades on near-term headwinds

As the business released its Q4 results and provided an estimate for the first quarter, Marqeta’s (NASDAQ:MQ) shares fell more than 20% in pre-market trading on Wednesday.

Against expectations of a loss per share of $0.10 on $201.9M in revenue, the firm reported a loss per share of $0.05 on $203.8M in revenue. The adjusted EBITDA margin was -4%, better than the anticipated -5.8%.

“We are entering 2023 in an exceptional position to seize the enormous opportunity in embedded finance. Our cloud-native and API-first platform delivers a completely bundled offering, including tools for managing risk, debit, credit, money movement, and programs, making it simple for our customers to include financial services into their own products, “said Simon Khalaf, Marqeta’s CEO.

The company anticipates a 26-28% gain in revenue for this quarter, but a worse-than-anticipated -5% to -6% decline in adjusted EBITDA margin.

Analysts at JPMorgan downgraded the company from Overweight to Neutral and lowered their price objective from $9 to $6 per share.

While the strategic value and long-term operational changes being implemented at Marqeta are something the analysts appreciate, they believe it is time to move away from the company given the trade-off between weaker near-term growth and longer-term certainty owing to stepped-up renewals, especially Visa, which shocked them to the downside.

According to Wolfe Research analysts, the company faces “too many near-term obstacles,” which outweigh long-term prospects.

“MQ’s 4Q results were in-line on revs and beat on EBITDA. However, guidance was below due to contract renewals and network incentives. These factors are overshadowing a normalized mid-20%+ GP growth rate, and investors likely need to see more to regain confidence,” the analysts said.