Tech

Shopify stock soars after giving upbeat guidance

Key Points
  • Shopify shares climbed 7.8% on Wednesday, hitting a new 52-week high, after the company beat expectations for the fourth quarter.
  • The company also gave upbeat revenue guidance for the full year 2020.
Harley Finkelstein, COO, Shopify
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Shopify, which makes online tools for companies to sell products online, climbed 7.8% on Wednesday, hitting a new 52-week high of $593.89, after the company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results and gave upbeat guidance for the full year 2020.

For the fourth quarter, Shopify reported earnings of 43 cents per share, exceeding consensus estimates of 24 cents per share. Revenue jumped 47% year over year to $505.2 million, which was higher than analysts' estimated $482.1 million.

Shopify's 2020 full-year outlook topped analysts' expectations. For the year, Shopify said it expects revenue to range from $2.13 billion to $2.16 billion, compared with consensus estimates of $2.11 billion.

The company reported higher holiday sales in its results. Shopify said it saw worldwide sales of over $2.9 billion between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, up about 61% from the same period in 2018.

Shopify's stock has been on a tear so far this year, with shares up about 34% year to date. By comparison the S&P 500 is up just 4% year to date.

In the earnings release, Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke said 2019 was a "milestone" year for the company, which lets small businesses sell goods and services to customers by setting up stores on its site. Lütke said Shopify now counts more than 1 million merchants on the platform.

Shopify has recently ramped up its investments to attract more merchants to its platform, setting aside $1 billion last year to build fulfillment centers in the U.S. as it takes on rivals Amazon and eBay. Analysts have said Shopify's fulfillment investments should help it compete with Amazon by enabling it to deliver packages across the U.S. in two days or less.

The company said in the release that it expanded the number of "partners, merchants and nodes" in its fulfillment network, which helped it serve sellers during the holiday shopping season. Shopify CFO Amy Shapero said the company will continue to optimize its fulfillment network in 2020 to better help sellers and "energize the flywheel well into the future."

Several on the Street said it was a strong report, noting the company's investments in merchant services, fulfillment and international markets appears to be paying off.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney raised his price target on Shopify to $650 from $400, making him the biggest bull among analysts surveyed by FactSet. Mahaney, who has an outperform rating on the stock, said Shopify, "in aggregate," is now the second largest e-commerce retailer in the U.S., surpassing eBay and behind Amazon.

Canaccord Genuity analyst David Hynes said Shopify's "blockbuster" results show it's "firing on all cylinders" and raised his price target on Shopify's stock to $600 from $385. "Our only comment would be that, at some point, investors are going to hold Shopify accountable for delivering growth and profits," said Hynes, who has a buy rating on the stock.

-- Reuters contributed to this report.

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