SoFi stock analyst unveils new price target after earnings

When you look at Anthony Noto’s resume, it’s hard to believe that it’s just for one man.

A student at West Point, Noto was a star linebacker on the U.S. military academy’s football team, earning All East Linebacker and Academic All American titles, and receiving the Toyota Leadership Award in the 1990 Army-Navy Game.

Anthony Noto is re-imagining banking as CEO of fintech SoFi Technologies.

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In 1991, Noto was the highest-ranked mechanical engineering major in his graduating class. 

After graduating from Army Ranger School at Fort Benning, Noto served as a Communications Officer with the 24th Infantry Division in Fort Stewart, Georgia.

He joined Goldman Sachs  (GS) – Get Free Report in 1999, where he led the iconic firm’s communications, media, and entertainment research team, and in 2008, he took off as chief financial officer for the National Football League. 

In 2014, he joined Twitter as CFO, and four years later, he took over the helm at SoFi Technologies  (SOFI) – Get Free Report, where he initiated the online financial services company’s IPO in 2021.

Are you still with us? Good, because on Jan. 29, the San Francisco-based firm posted fourth-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street’s expectations and sent SoFi Technologies’ stock soaring into double-digit territory.

SoFi CEO Noto cites ‘exceptional results’

The company earned two cents a share on adjusted revenue of $594.25 million. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected the company to break even on a per-share basis and post revenue of $575 million. 

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A year ago, SoFi posted a loss of 5 cents a share on revenue of $443.4 million. 

The company said the fintech’s lending products increased 24% year-over-year to 1.7 million products, driven primarily by continued growth in personal loan products and a notable increase in student loan products.

Personal loans were up 33% as the value of originations increased 31% and the average balance dropped 3%, while student loans were up 9% as the value of originations increased 95% and the average balance dropped 4%.

“I’d say the strategy overall has really come into play and delivered exceptional results for the quarter,” Noto told CNBC. “Six years ago, we embarked on this very ambitious strategy to be a one-stop shop for all your financial services needs.”

Noto said that when he joined SoFi six years ago, “we were primarily just the lender in two products.

Today, SoFi offers four types of loans, including home loans, a modern check and savings account, SoFi Invest, SoFi credit card, and insurance products. The technology platform it outsources to partners assists 140 million accounts across the fintech industry.

He added that the latest quarter “really reflects the fact that the financial services segment is now profitable and growing quite meaningfully.”

“The tech platform business is also profitable with accelerating growth, and that’s really the drivers of growth going in 2024 and less of the lending pieces,” Noto said. 

Analyst: ‘This guidance rocks’

“So, it was a combination of that strategy over the last six years being invested in and then coming to fruition in 2023 with record revenue of over $2 billion in record EBITDA and actually hitting our long-term EBITDA margins at 30%,” Noto said.

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Noto said that the unique thing for SoFi is that in 2024, 50% of the company’s revenue will be from technology platform revenue and financial services and 50% from lending.

“In previous years, it was as high as 80%, so we’ve gained scale and profitability in those two segments just in the right time as we enter 2024,” he said.

For the current quarter, SoFi said it expects to generate adjusted net revenue of $550 million to $600 million.

Looking ahead to the full year 2024, SoFi sees the Tech Platform and Financial Services segments combined growing at least 50% and lending revenue ending up between 92% and 95% of 2023 levels. 

“SoFi projects full-year GAAP-accounting net income of $95 million to $105 million for a GAAP EPS of $0.07 to $0.08,” says TheStreet’s Real Money Pro Stephen Guilfoyle. “Let’s just say it together, ‘Wow, this guidance rocks.'”

Guilfoyle, who cut his teeth on the stock exchange in the 1980s, has been “sweet on SoFi for a long time.” He’s been recommending it since it was trading below $4 a year and a half ago.

“Looking beyond 2024, SoFi expects to see compound revenue growth of 20% to 25% for the period between 2023 and 2026…This projection in aggregate is expected to drive GAAP EPS of between $0.55 and $0.80 in fiscal year 2026,” says Guilfoyle.

That outlook could help SoFi continue higher. 

“This 2026 guidance simply knocked my socks off. I had hoped for a solid quarter. That was delivered. I had hoped for some seriously optimistic guidance. That was more than delivered,” concluded Guilfoyle.

Guilfoyle thinks SoFi has a shot at $13 per share.

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