Shares of Lyft Inc. were down more than 1% in premarket trading Tuesday after Cowen & Co. analyst John Blackledge downgraded the stock to market perform from outperform, writing of potential pressures stemming from insurance costs and the macroeconomic climate. On Lyft’s last earnings call, President John Zimmer said that inflationary pressures and rising insurance costs were an “industry issue” and that they were “primarily driven by rising premiums as a result of higher cost of used vehicles, vehicle repair, higher medical costs and increased litigation costs.” Cowen’s Blackledge wrote late Monday that insurance costs “could remain a [near-term] headwind to margins” for Lyft, adding that they are “exacerbated by recent inflationary pressures.” He also is concerned that a recession would limit upside opportunities when it came to “rider use cases” since people could become less likely to go out at night. “We acknowledge that a recession should drive better driver supply and lower driver [acquisition] costs (from higher unemployment), but we would be concerned about impact from a slowing top line,” Blackledge wrote. He cut his price target to $14 from $36 on shares of Lyft, which have fallen 74% so far this year as the S&P 500 has declined 17%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
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