If You Own SOFI Stock, Sell Before This Happens

Last week, SoFi Technologies (NASDAQ:SOFI) shares made a sharp move higher. Between the market close on Nov. 9, and the market close on Nov. 11, SOFI stock surged by a total of 19.5%, briefly re-hitting the $6 per share price level.

Much of this big move higher had to do with the broad market rally that played out during this timeframe, on the heels of promising inflation data, however there was a development more directly affecting the company that may have played a role in its double-digit move on Nov. 11 (more below).

That said, I wouldn’t view this latest rally as a sign that the fintech firm is about to turn a corner. In fact, as macro concerns come back into focus, this stock could not only keep giving back last week’s gains, but make a trip down to new lows as well.

SOFI SoFi Technologies $5.88

SOFI Stock and Its Latest Surge

SoFi Technologies stock rose in line with other speculative growth plays on Nov. 10, as the market perceived the latest Consumer Price Index numbers to be a sign of slowing inflation, and in turn, an easing/pivot by the Federal Reserve on interest rates.

High inflation and rising interest rates have been bad news for speculative growth thus far in 2022, so even a slight reversal in these trends is seen to be a bullish sign. Interestingly though, SOFI stock made a larger move higher on Nov. 11, when stocks overall made a moderate move higher.

The reason for this may have to do with the latest regarding President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan. As InvestorPlace’s Eddie Pan reported last week, a Federal Judge struck down the plan. Although this ruling could be appealed, it’s easy to see why the market reacted positively to this news.

With the student loan repayment moratorium set to expire Dec. 31, and with the forgiveness program now up in the air, SoFi (which got its start as a third-party provider of student loan refinancing) could see an even greater rebound for the now mostly-dormant segment of its business.

Why This Fintech Could Plunge Again

So, despite the sharp positive shift in market sentiment, coupled with seemingly-positive company-specific news, why am I still bearish on SOFI stock? For one, last week’s market spike is already starting to look like a short-lived bear market rally. CPI data notwithstanding, it may be premature to say that a Fed pivot is just around the corner.

As inflation remains at levels not experienced since the early 1980s, the central bank is likely to remain hawkish. That’s bad news for both economic growth and the stock market. Already losing momentum, last week’s rally could quickly morph into a sell-off, pushing SOFI back to pre-rally prices.

Second, the recent news on student loans isn’t exactly a game-changing development. The resumption of student loan repayments is already taken into account in SoFi’s 2023 revenue and earnings forecasts, and perhaps overly factored into its valuation.

That is, based on this factor, plus the possibility of current inflation/interest rate trends reversing, sell-side forecasts are calling for the company’s losses to narrow in 2023 and 2024. However, even with possible student loan tailwinds, if high inflation and interest rates persist, it may prove difficult to stick to this timeline.

The Verdict

If macro challenges continue to afflict SoFi, hampering its operating performance in 2023, how low could shares go? As I’ve argued previously, continued failure to hit profitability could send the stock to as low as its tangible book value (around $3.34 per share) before it’s all said and done.

Compare that to this stock’s relatively limited upside potential. Unless the market shifts completely back to a “growth at any price” mentality (unlikely unless interest rates fall back to near zero), the only way SOFI is going to return to $10 per share, much less past highs, is by beating long-term earnings forecasts by a wide margin.

Now even less favorable from a risk/return standpoint, sell and/or avoid SOFI stock. It is at risk of potentially falling deep into penny stock territory (low single-digits per share).

SOFI stock earns a D-rating in Portfolio Grader.

On the date of publication, neither Louis Navellier nor the InvestorPlace Research Staff member primarily responsible for this article held (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.

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