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Etsy shares seesaw despite better-than-expected quarterly sales

  • Etsy posted revenue of $106.4 million, higher than the $105 million expected by a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate.
  • Profits were 21 cents per share, according to generally accepted accounting principles.
  • The revenue is up 21.5 percent from a year ago, when Etsy reported sales of $87.56 million.

Etsy's third-quarter sales were slightly higher than Wall Street expected, the company revealed on Monday.

Etsy posted revenue of $106.4 million, higher than the $105 million expected by a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate. That revenue is up 21.5 percent from a year ago, when Etsy reported sales of $87.56 million. Earnings were 21 cents per share on a GAAP basis, up from a loss of 2 cents per share a year ago.

The share price seesawed between $17 and $18 apiece in after-hours trading, settling around 1 percent down from the day's close.

The e-commerce company, which focuses on handmade, niche and artisan goods, is in the midst of an uneasy transition. In May, Etsy said it would replace its CEO and cut 8 percent of its staff.

On Monday, current CEO Josh Silverman attributed the faster pace of sales to a more focused approach to the business. Etsy has performed experiments in four areas — trust and reliability, search, marketing, and seller tools — and has seen a key metric, gross merchandise sales, grow almost every week since late May. The number of active buyers and sellers on the platform also grew, the company said, as did the international business.

In particular, Etsy said it has changed its website to warn shoppers when items are scarce and to better suggest items for special occasions. Etsy also had its first-ever sitewide sale over Labor Day.

Etsy reiterated that it expects revenue to grow 18 percent to 20 percent year over year in 2017, and should continue to benefit from cost-cutting.

Still, the company faces steep competition. Amazon said last month that it would also target special occasions with a service called Amazon Handmade Gift Shop.