Coinbase Beats Market Expectations despite Drop in Q4 Transaction Revenue

Wednesday, 22/02/2023 | 09:13 GMT by Arnab Shome
  • The exchange closed the quarter with an adjusted $2.46 per share loss.
  • It generated $120 million in transaction revenue in January 2023.
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Crypto exchange Coinbase (Nasdaq: COIN) reported a loss of $557 million in the fourth quarter of 2022 as the net revenue plummeted 75 percent year-over-year to $605 million. On the positive side, the quarterly revenue exceeded the market estimation of $588 million.

Coinbase Beats Market Estimation

Further, the latest net revenue strengthened from the previous quarter's dip of $576 million, thus coming in about 5 percent higher. However, the losses widened in the prior quarter. Additionally, the crypto exchange reported a net profit of $840 million in Q4 2021.

The adjusted quarterly losses came in at $2.46 per share, beating the market estimates for a loss of $2.52 per share. Despite that, Coinbase's share price maintained its downward momentum. COIN lost 4.8 percent of its value as the markets closed on Thursday and shed another 1.16 percent in after-market trading.

Coinbase share price
Coinbase share price after Thursday's closing

Dissecting the Revenue Streams

The company's shareholders letter published on Thursday detailed that the transactional revenue of the crypto exchange declined by 12 percent quarter-over-quarter to $322 million in Q4. On a yearly basis, this drop is even more staggering at almost 86 percent.

On the other hand, the crypto exchange's subscription and service revenue has strengthened significantly. This revenue stream generated $282.8 million, compared to $210.5 million in the previous quarter and $213.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2021. It was pushed mainly by the $182.2 million in interest income that Coinbase received.

The California-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange handled a trading volume of $145 billion in Q4 2022, which is down 9 percent and 74 percent quarterly and annually, respectively. The impact of the FTX collapse triggered the dip in this figure.

"In the wake of FTX and other crypto company failures, we have seen increased regulatory scrutiny," said the Founder and CEO of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong. "I believe this is a good thing for the space and that it will ultimately benefit Coinbase."

Recovering Demand

Further, the recent upward momentum in crypto prices is benefiting Coinbase. The exchange generated $120 million in transaction revenue in January 2023. However, it cautioned investors "not to extrapolate these results forward."

As for the Q1 2023 outlook, the exchange expects to bring subscription and services revenue between $300 million and $325 million. It also expects the transaction expense to be in the "mid-teens as a % of net revenue."

"Crypto markets have improved so far into Q1 as compared to Q4," said Coinbase's CFO, Alesia Haas. "Our outlook is reflecting what we believe are the most stable and predictable elements of our business, specifically subscription and services revenue and expenses."

Meanwhile, Coinabse faced a few regulatory setbacks recently. The exchange entered into a $100 million settlement with the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) for anti-money laundering lapses, and it also faced a $3.3 million fine for unauthorized operations in the Dutch market. Furthermore, the exchange shuttered its operations in Japan, citing market volatility.

Crypto exchange Coinbase (Nasdaq: COIN) reported a loss of $557 million in the fourth quarter of 2022 as the net revenue plummeted 75 percent year-over-year to $605 million. On the positive side, the quarterly revenue exceeded the market estimation of $588 million.

Coinbase Beats Market Estimation

Further, the latest net revenue strengthened from the previous quarter's dip of $576 million, thus coming in about 5 percent higher. However, the losses widened in the prior quarter. Additionally, the crypto exchange reported a net profit of $840 million in Q4 2021.

The adjusted quarterly losses came in at $2.46 per share, beating the market estimates for a loss of $2.52 per share. Despite that, Coinbase's share price maintained its downward momentum. COIN lost 4.8 percent of its value as the markets closed on Thursday and shed another 1.16 percent in after-market trading.

Coinbase share price
Coinbase share price after Thursday's closing

Dissecting the Revenue Streams

The company's shareholders letter published on Thursday detailed that the transactional revenue of the crypto exchange declined by 12 percent quarter-over-quarter to $322 million in Q4. On a yearly basis, this drop is even more staggering at almost 86 percent.

On the other hand, the crypto exchange's subscription and service revenue has strengthened significantly. This revenue stream generated $282.8 million, compared to $210.5 million in the previous quarter and $213.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2021. It was pushed mainly by the $182.2 million in interest income that Coinbase received.

The California-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange handled a trading volume of $145 billion in Q4 2022, which is down 9 percent and 74 percent quarterly and annually, respectively. The impact of the FTX collapse triggered the dip in this figure.

"In the wake of FTX and other crypto company failures, we have seen increased regulatory scrutiny," said the Founder and CEO of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong. "I believe this is a good thing for the space and that it will ultimately benefit Coinbase."

Recovering Demand

Further, the recent upward momentum in crypto prices is benefiting Coinbase. The exchange generated $120 million in transaction revenue in January 2023. However, it cautioned investors "not to extrapolate these results forward."

As for the Q1 2023 outlook, the exchange expects to bring subscription and services revenue between $300 million and $325 million. It also expects the transaction expense to be in the "mid-teens as a % of net revenue."

"Crypto markets have improved so far into Q1 as compared to Q4," said Coinbase's CFO, Alesia Haas. "Our outlook is reflecting what we believe are the most stable and predictable elements of our business, specifically subscription and services revenue and expenses."

Meanwhile, Coinabse faced a few regulatory setbacks recently. The exchange entered into a $100 million settlement with the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) for anti-money laundering lapses, and it also faced a $3.3 million fine for unauthorized operations in the Dutch market. Furthermore, the exchange shuttered its operations in Japan, citing market volatility.

About the Author: Arnab Shome
Arnab Shome
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About the Author: Arnab Shome
Arnab is an electronics engineer-turned-financial editor. He entered the industry covering the cryptocurrency market for Finance Magnates and later expanded his reach to forex as well. He is passionate about the changing regulatory landscape on financial markets and keenly follows the disruptions in the industry with new-age technologies.
  • 6359 Articles
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