Uber is expected to set its share price at $45

Uber by the numbers

Shares of Uber stalled on their first day of trading Friday, falling 7.6% to just under $42 amid mounting trade war tensions. Uber raised $8.1 billion, pricing its IPO at $45 per share, close to the bottom of the targeted $44-$50 range. Its shares closed at $41.57. But it was tough going.

Jitters about an intensifying USA trade war with China also contributed. What's more, some Uber drivers have been accused of assaulting passengers, and one of its self-driving test vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona a year ago while a backup driver was behind the wheel. "We keep moving forward in tough and easy environments, and I think that we as a company will be a great investment over the long term".

No matter how the stock swings, the IPO has to be considered a triumph for the company most closely associated with a ride-hailing industry that has changed the way millions of people get around while also transforming the way millions of more people earn a living in the gig economy.

However, it is uncommon for a company with such a high profile to stumble out of the gate. Lyft was down four percent, well below its IPO price.

First day trading doesn't determine a company's future, however.

Smaller Lyft saw its shares drop 6% to $%51.79. But even with Uber's lower share price, its valuation of $76 billion is four times more than Lyft's. Some, like Uber and Lyft, are unprofitable. The company is also dealing with a class-action lawsuit brought by drivers who are fighting their independent contractor status, which it's now attempting to settle while it's still in the "lose all our money on purpose" phase of its business.

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Uber's valuation is nearly a third less than the valuation of up to US$120 billion that its investment bankers predicted previous year.

Despite all that, Uber's IPO is the biggest since Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group debuted in 2014. Uber eventually hired Dara Khosrowshahi as CEO.

The self-inflicted wounds included complaints about rampant internal sexual harassment, accusations that it stole self-driving vehicle technology, and a cover-up of a computer break-in that stole personal information about its passengers. Some Uber drivers have been accused of assaulting passengers, and one of its self-driving test vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona past year while a backup driver was behind the wheel.

Uber is due to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday under the symbol "UBER". Instead, he will be left standing on the sidelines while the spotlight shines on other Uber executives, although Kalanick can still savor his newfound wealth. Uber lost $3.03 billion in 2018 from operations. Uber also notes that it has already given $20 million to its drivers to settle a similar lawsuit and expects the amount of settlement money it will shell out this year "will fall within an approximate range of $146 million to $170 million".

SharesPost principal analyst Alejandro Ortiz said the timing for Uber to start trading was bad given the uncertainty over the trade spat with China.

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