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Here's Why Shopify (SHOP) Stock Could Be a Potential Winner

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Of late, shares of Shopify Inc. (SHOP - Free Report) have been gaining solid momentum. This is quite evident from the stock’s fresh 52-week of high of $179.92 and rise of more than 2%, yesterday. This rally can be attributed to solid growth in company’s Monthly Recurring Revenue (“MRR”) along with the addition of several new merchants. Further, outstanding first-quarter fiscal 2018 results and encouraging outlook drove its shares higher.

Notably, the company’s shares have gained 90.9% year over year, substantially outperforming the industry’s rally of 8.3%.

Shopify delivered first-quarter 2018 non-GAAP earnings of 4 cents per share against the year-ago quarter’s loss of 4 cents. Moreover, earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9 cents.

Revenues surged 68.3% from the year-ago quarter to $214.3 million, comfortably surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $201.6 million. The figure was also better than the guided range of $198-$202 million.

Shopify continues to launch a number of merchant-friendly applications to meet the requirements of a dynamic retail environment, consequently adding to its merchant base. Top-line growth benefited from an expanding merchant base.

As of Mar 31, 2018, MRR was $32.5 million, up 57% from the year-ago quarter figure of $20.7 million. Shopify Plus accounted for $7 million representing 22% of MRR compared with 17% in the quarter ended Mar 31, 2017.

Merchant Solutions revenues soared 75% to $114.1 million, driven primarily by growth in Gross Merchandise Volume (“GMV”), which climbed 64% from the year-ago quarter to $8.0 billion. Growth was also evident from robust performance of Shopify Shipping and Shopify Capital, revenues of each growing more than 50% on a year-over-year basis.

Encouraging View

For full-year 2018, Shopify raised outlook. Management now projects revenues in the range of $1-$1.01 billion, better than the previous guided range of $970-$990 million.

The Zacks Consensus Estimates for revenues and earnings are pegged at $1.01 billion and 17 cents per share for full-year 2018, which represents 50.7% and 6.3% year-over-year growth, respectively.

Growth Prospects

Shopify provides a multi-tenant, cloud-based, multi-channel commerce platform for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Notably, Shopify’s Instagram channel and integration of Google Pay (introduced in March this year) and Apple Pay services have helped it connect to a wide customer base, consequently increasing the number of active users on the platform. To make transactions easier for its merchants, Shopify is continuously focusing on the development of mobile applications. We also believe that the company’s strong partner referral system will boost merchant base, eventually driving top-line growth in 2018.

Shopping on Instagram was expanded to France, the U.K., Canada, Australia, Germany, Italy, Brazil and Spain in March 2018.

Purchases from merchants’ stores from mobile devices witnessed 75% of traffic and garnered 64% of orders for the quarter ended Mar 31, 2018, up from 69% and 59%, respectively, reported in the year-ago quarter. We note that the company is gaining from retail’s rapid transition to mobile and social sales channels.

Additionally, Smile With Lay’s shop, was introduced in Shopify Plus, which enables customers to personalize a bag of Lay’s potato chips by featuring their face on it. Marrine, new shops of PepsiCo and Nestle were also added.

Management was particularly positive about the company’s partner ecosystem that helps it to identify and reach out to merchants otherwise inaccessible. Around 16,000 partners referred merchants to Shopify in the past 12 months.

With a view to make the platform more merchant friendly, Shopify is working on extending language capabilities beyond English. We believe this inclusive move will improve engagement and consequently increase adoption going forward.

Shopify has been developing various apps, including various augmented reality (“AR”) based applications to streamline customer experience, The first-of-its-kind merchant product on the Shopify platform has been built on Shopify Mobile Buy SDK and Apple 's ARKit, enabling users to check how the goods look in real life surroundings.

Moreover, investments in latest technological developments such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality will reap benefits for the company going forward.

To Conclude

In the last 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Shopify’s current year witnessed upward revisions. For the current year, 14 out of 16 estimates were revised upward, taking the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings to 17 cents per share, up from 10 cents.

Shopify also outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the trailing four quarters, recording a positive average earnings surprise of 203.9%.

Further, it has a long-term expected EPS growth rate of 25%.

We expect the trend to continue and drive the overall financial performance of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock.

Few better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector are Western Digital Corporation (WDC - Free Report) , NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA - Free Report) and Micron Technology, Inc. (MU - Free Report) . All the three stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Western Digital, NVIDIA and Micron have a long-term expected EPS growth rate of 19%, 10.3% and 10%, respectively.

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