Etsy stock plunges as weak guidance suggests pandemic e-commerce boom is stalling

Key Points
  • Shares of Etsy slid in extended trading Wednesday after the company gave third-quarter guidance that suggested a sales slowdown.
  • Etsy and other digital retailers have benefited greatly from the pandemic e-commerce bump, which is slowing as vaccinated consumers return to stores and spend more on travel and services.

In this article

An employee walks past a quilt displaying Etsy Inc. signage at the company's headquarters in the Brooklyn.
Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Etsy reported better-than-expected second-quarter results after the bell Wednesday, but it gave guidance for the current quarter that suggests the pandemic-fueled e-commerce boom may be stalling.

The stock slid as much as 14% in extended trading.

Here's how the company did, compared with expectations of analysts surveyed by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings: 68 cents per share vs. 63 cents per share expected
  • Revenue: $528.9 million vs. $524.7 million expected

Revenue growth slowed to 23.4% year over year during the quarter. That's a marked deceleration from recent quarters, when sales growth topped 100% for each of the past four quarters.

Etsy earnings and revenue beat in Q2
Etsy earnings and revenue beat in Q2

The results underscore concerns that the pandemic bump in e-commerce activity is fading as vaccinated consumers spend less online and more on travel and other services. Last week, shares of Etsy, eBay and Wayfair were all dragged down after Amazon reported sales and gave a forecast that fell short of expectations.

Etsy, which operates an online marketplace known for handmade and personalized goods, has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the pandemic, with shoppers turning to the site for things such as face masks and home goods.

"Etsy's second quarter 2021 performance is quite remarkable when viewed in context of how dramatically the world changed during the year-ago period," Etsy CEO Josh Silverman said in a statement. "It is deeply gratifying to me and our entire team that we are able to report strong year-over-year growth, with GMS and revenue up approximately 13% and 23% respectively. In fact, excluding facemasks, which were an important driver of the prior year period, second quarter GMS for the Etsy marketplace increased 31%."

For the current quarter, Etsy said it expects revenue to come in between $500 million and $525 million, implying a growth rate of 13.5% year over year at the midpoint. Analysts surveyed by StreetAccount were looking for third-quarter sales of $527.5 million.