Shares of Carvana Co. were up more than 4% in premarket trading Wednesday after Raymond James ended its bearish call on the used-car retailer’s stock, upgrading it to market perform from underperform following a roughly 40% drop in the shares since May 10. “Our overall thesis has remained relatively unchanged including CVNA is navigating a difficult operating environment, while also integrating 56 inspection centers from the ADESA acquisition (vs. 17 centers pre-acquisition),” Raymond James analyst Mitch Ingles wrote in a note to clients. “Although we believe CVNA has a long runway for growth in the coming years, and the ADESA acquisition is strategically sound, a more favorable entry point for shareholders is likely a few quarters away when the company can show sustainable Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) margin progress.” Ingles further expects that the fourth quarter of 2022 will be the beginning of an “accelerated normalization period” that brings the used-car industry back toward where it was prior to the pandemic. “While leading indicators are starting to slow for the industry, we believe Carvana should continue to take outsized market share regardless of the market scenario,” he added. Shares of Carvana have plunged 93% over the past 12 months as the S&P 500 has lost 11%.
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