NEW YORK -- Uber Technologies Inc. fell in its trading debut after opening below its IPO price.
Shares opened at $42. Uber’s IPO priced Thursday night at $45 per share, near the bottom of a $44 to $50 offering range. The stock fell 8 percent to $41.44 at 11:57 a.m. in New York, valuing Uber at $71 billion. The shares recovered somewhat a few hours later, trading at $44.60 as of 1:23 p.m. ET.
This year’s largest IPO debuted Friday with global trade tensions pushing volatility to its highest levels since January. Lyft Inc., the No. 2 ride-sharing company that went public earlier this year, fell as much as 8.2 percent on Friday in the run-up to Uber’s debut.
"Uber is basically Lyft 2.0. Good model, growing sales. But, yet again, here comes California math once more. It is still losing a ton of money," said Brian Hamilton, a tech entrepreneur and founder of data firm Sageworks. "If you buy, you are buying a bull market, not a company," he added.
In meetings with potential investors the past two weeks, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi argued that Uber's future was not as a ride-hailing company but as a wide technology platform shaping logistics and transportation.
In the meetings, Khosrowshahi and other top Uber executives touted a promising future for the company, one in which most people won’t own cars and instead will hire self-driving vehicles, electric bikes or scooters, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The company is hoping the pitch, coupled with any fear of missing out what is expected to be the biggest IPO of 2019, will support demand.
The IPO pricing was a balancing act for Uber's team of underwriting banks, led by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs & Co. and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, to negotiate a good price while leaving some upside to ensure the stock traded up on its market debut.
Uber is aiming to sell 180 million shares in the offering to raise up to $9 billion, with a further 27 million potentially sold by existing investors for as much as $1.35 billion.
Uber lost $3.03 billion in 2018 from operations, and reported a net loss attributable to the company for the first quarter of 2019 of around $1 billion on revenues of roughly $3 billion.
Uber is trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "UBER."
Bloomberg and Reuters contributed to this report.