Financial technology company Mogo Inc.’s stock hit a record high on Tuesday, and surpassed its 2015 initial public offering price for the first time, amid investor speculation that bitcoin could become a mainstream currency.
Shares of Vancouver-based Mogo (MOGO-TSX; MOGO-Nasdaq), which offers the buying and selling of bitcoin through its mobile app, soared by as much as 63.5 per cent in Tuesday trading to a record high of $15 before closing at $13.17 – up $4 or 43.6 per cent.
“[Its] status as one of the limited number of public companies with gearing to bitcoin is certainly the primary reason for the stock’s resurgence, in my view,” Canaccord Genuity analyst Doug Taylor said in an e-mail to The Globe and Mail.
Mogo shares closed up 28 per cent to $9.17 on Monday, the same day electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc. said it had purchased US$1.5-billion of the digital currency and that it would soon accept it as payment for cars. The news helped drive bitcoin to a new record of US$48,226.25. Bitcoin has more than doubled over the past two months and the Tesla news has investors betting it could become a mainstream asset class.
Mogo shares are up by about 130 per cent in the past five days and have risen by about 385 per cent in the past three months. The stock went public in the summer of 2015 at $10 a share but has traded below that point, until Tuesday.
Last week, Mogo announced a 141-per-cent increase in new bitcoin account additions in January compared with December, and a 323-per-cent increase in the dollar value of bitcoin traded on its platform over the same period.
“The continued growth in bitcoin transaction activity is very encouraging and although it is not yet a material contributor to our overall revenue, it represents our fastest-growing product,” Mogo president Greg Feller said in a Feb. 1 news release.
Mogo said late last year that it plans to make an initial corporate investment of up to $1.5-million in bitcoin and will consider additional investments this year.
The company launched MogoCrypto in 2018, which enables members to buy and sell bitcoin at real-time prices through the Mogo app.
“Assuming we continue to experience strong uptake with MogoCrypto, it could represent a meaningful component of the growth in our subscription and services revenue in 2021,” Mr. Feller said in last week’s release.
Canaccord’s Mr. Taylor said in a Jan. 4 note that bitcoin accounted for less than 10 per cent of the company’s fourth-quarter revenue and “should the trajectory continue, this could become a more meaningful contributor to overall growth in 2021.”
He also described Mogo as “one of the simplest ways for Canadians to purchase and hold bitcoin,” citing its 1-per-cent transaction fees and a bitcoin rewards program tied to other products.
Mogo also offers personal loans and products for consumers to manage their spending and monitor their credit scores.
Among the company’s 42.8 million shares outstanding, about 21.5 per cent are held by insiders, 5.1 per cent by institutions and the remaining 73.4 per cent by retail investors, according to S&P Capital IQ.
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