GIC-backed Luckin Coffee burns investors in 39% plunge from high after IPO

GIC-backed Luckin Coffee burns investors in 39% plunge from high after IPO

2 -min read
Listen to this article
2 -min read
Listen to this article

[NEW YORK] Luckin Coffee's initial public offering (IPO) was met with great fanfare -- and then it wasn't.

Shares of Xiamen, China-based Luckin Coffee - which is backed by investors including Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC, US money manager BlackRock, and China International Capital - soared as much as 53 per cent to US$25.96 on May 17, their first day of trading in the US.

Since then, the stock has plunged 39 per cent from that peak, even with a rally in the final half hour of trading Thursday that gave Luckin a 7.1 per cent gain for the day.

Investors have questioned the company's sacrifice of profits in favor of a cash-burn strategy at the same time as the rocky China-US trade relationship weighs on global markets.

The Chinese startup is seeking to overtake Starbucks, opening more stores in two years than the industry giant has in 20 years.

Luckin's 7.1 per cent decline from its offering price of US$17 per share - to US$15.79 as of Thursday's close - isn't as bad as the performance from ride-hailing company Lyft, which is down 20 per cent from its offering price of US$72 in late March.

But it's a frustration for market watchers such as Hedgeye Risk Management analyst Howard Penney, who last week projected 50 per cent upside for the stock.

BLOOMBERG