Why Pagaya Technologies Plummeted by 74% This Week

What happened

Pagaya Technologies (NASDAQ: PGY), one of the more intriguing and unusual operators in the fintech space, lost its appeal to many investors this week. This was due largely to the toxic combination of a Federal Reserve interest rate hike and a big new secondary share issue. According to data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence, Pagaya shares had lost nearly three-quarters of their value across the week's five trading sessions.

So what

Pagaya, which specializes in lending technology powered by artificial intelligence (AI), was understandably a victim of the Fed's latest interest rate boost on Wednesday. Interest rate hikes can badly affect lenders, as the more expensive loans become, the more reluctant would-be clients are to borrow money. Pagaya is not a diversified financial services business, and as such it's relatively more exposed to big changes in the lending landscape.

Given that, it didn't qualify as good timing when the company filed a preliminary prospectus for secondary stock issues the day before the interest rate increase.

Pagaya itself aims to float up to 46.1 million-plus of its ordinary shares in order to fulfill potential redemptions connected to existing warrants (which, in turn, are linked to the lock-up periods for early shareholders). Meanwhile, company insiders and investors intend to unload up to a bit over 674.4 million shares.

Now what

As the current level of Pagaya's shares outstanding is less than 460 million, even a limited amount of the shares specified in the prospectus coming to market could be seriously dilutive. That effect will only be exacerbated in an environment of rising interest rates.

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Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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