Robinhood earnings show a company reliant on quieting retail traders and volatile crypto pricing


Stocks? Where Robinhood HOOD, +6.71% is going, it doesn’t need stocks.

When the company went public in July, it made no bones that it is a company built on growth assumptions and waist-deep in the world of cryptocurrency trading.

On Wednesday, the $41 billion no-fee trading platform disclosed its first-ever quarterly earnings report and confirmed that, for better or for worse, both of those things remain true — and also that it will more than likely get worse before it gets better.

Robinhood’s revenue from crypto transactions for the quarter was $233 million, making up just over half of its total revenue of $565 million for the June-ending period. That year-over-year growth is staggering considering that Robinhood said it made $5 million from crypto transactions in the second quarter of 2020, and the highly volatile sector now a plays a key role in the company’s future.

The company also disclosed that 60% of its 22.5 million net cumulative funded accounts traded crypto in the quarter.

Considering that Robinhood alerted investors to the fact that 34% of its crypto-trading revenue for the first three months of the year came from Dogecoin, which is up almost 6,200% in 2021 thanks in large parts to Elon Musk’s tweets, that volatility can be extrapolated even further.

But one thing that could tamp down another wild quarter for Robinhood is that fewer people will likely be using it.

On a call with analysts Wednesday, Robinhood Chief Financial Officer Jason Warnick was clear that the fall will not be as profitable as the winter or the summer months, and that investors should assume lower trading volumes and revenue for the third quarter.

Robinhood, which is still smarting reputationally among retail traders from its January decision to halt trading on meme stocks like GameStop GME, -3.97% and AMC Entertainment AMC, -1.64% and the height of their short squeezes, fell almost by as much as 9% in after-hours trading.

But despite reporting a topsy-turvy first public quarter, CEO Vlad Tenev cut an optimistic tone on the call with investors and analysts, speaking broadly about his startup’s plans to create digital wallets, manage IRA accounts for users and even expand internationally.

He even made a nod to the retail trading “Apes” on Reddit.

While answering a question about Robinhood’s plans to sell IPO shares of new public companies on the platform, Tenev made a clear point of using meme-stock lingo, telling those on the call that retail investors buying IPO stocks have proven to be “relatively diamond-handed.”

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