One less fish in the sea: ASX BNPL share prepares to jump ship

Laybuy appears to be gearing up to announce its removal from the Aussie bourse.

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ASX share price price jump represented by salmon jumping out of water

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Key points

  • The Laybuy share price is in a trading halt this morning as the $15.4 million buy now, pay later company appears to be gearing up to announce its ASX removal
  • It follows a dire period for ASX BNPL outfits that even market leader Zip couldn't escape
  • Both Zip and Laybuy have seen their share prices tumble around 70% over the last 12 months

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) shares were the kings of the ASX over much of 2020 and 2021.

However, they appeared to fall out of favour as inflation reared its ugly head last year, spurring central banks to hike interest rates, thereby dinting consumers' pockets. Add in the market's distaste for unprofitable companies, and most BNPL stocks crumbled.

Now, the ASX looks like it could soon be down a BNPL share.

Laybuy Holdings Ltd (ASX: LBY) shares are in a trading halt this morning. Meanwhile, the company appears to be preparing to announce its removal from the Aussie bourse.

Let's take a closer look at what's been going on with the tiny BNPL outfit lately.

Are Laybuy shares about to be stripped from the ASX?

The Laybuy share price is in the freezer on Monday as the company prepares to release news on an application to be removed from the ASX.

It follows a dire period for the stock and its BNPL peers. The Laybuy share price has tumbled 69% over the last 12 months to trade at 6 cents at Friday's close.

Longer-term investors have had a worse time, however.

The company – which says it boasts a market-leading position in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, as well as a presence in Australia – offered shares for $1.41 apiece in its $80 million initial public offering (IPO), undergone in 2020.

Sadly, while its future seemingly appears brighter, the market might not see the company's maiden profit. Commenting on its outlook in November, managing director Gary Rohlof said:

We anticipate strengthening results and are on track to achieve [earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA)] profitability in March 2023, making Laybuy one of the first pure play publicly-listed BNPL providers to achieve profitability.

ASX BNPL shares have suffered in recent years

Fortunately or unfortunately, Laybuy shares have been far from alone in their recent suffering.

Iconic ASX BNPL stock Zip Co Ltd (ASX: ZIP) rocketed to a record high of $14.53 in 2021. It's since fallen 95% to trade at 75 cents today.

Meanwhile, shares in recently-profitable BNPL stock Sezzle Inc (ASX: SZL) peaked at around $11.34 in mid-2020. The stock is currently swapping hands for 65 cents after the company revealed a second consecutive month of profitability this morning.

Even former-market darling Afterpay saw its share price tumble 30% over the course of 2021. It was snapped up by Block Inc (ASX: SQ2) in January 2022.

Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Block and Zip Co. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Block. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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