Shopify will soon trail only Amazon for US e-commerce, and the stock is soaring

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Tobias Lütke, CEO of Shopify, speaks at the Collision conference in Toronto, Canada, on May 22, 2019.

Shopify's stock has been on a tear in the past 12 months, jumping more than 150% en route to surpassing eBay's market cap earlier this year. It is now expected to pass eBay in terms of merchant sales volume in the U.S. as well.

In a note published Monday, R.W. Baird wrote that Shopify is expected to become the second-largest e-commerce platform in the U.S. this year — behind only Amazon — in terms of the sales volume generated by merchants using its service. Shopify is best known for its software that helps merchants sell online, including tools to launch e-commerce sites and accept online payments.

The estimate reflects Shopify's continued growth, which has pushed its stock to more than double this year. The company is now worth $40 billion, and has a larger market cap than eBay, which is valued at roughly $34 billion.

R.W. Baird forecast the number of merchants using Shopify to exceed 1 million by the end of this year, leading to higher revenue estimates for 2019. The market research firm also raised Shopify's price target from $370 to $410.

Shopify reported $362 million in second quarter revenue last month, up 48% from the year-ago period. Total merchant sales volume was $13.8 billion, a 51% jump from the same period of last year. EBay, meanwhile, reported $21.5 billion in total sales volume in its most recent quarter. Neither company breaks down its merchant sales volume by region.

Shopify also announced Monday that it's buying the warehouse automation start-up 6 River Systems for $450 million. The start-up is best known for its "Chuck" autonomous vehicles that can move around packages in the warehouse. Shopify has recently launched a new fulfillment service that packs and ships products for sellers that pay an additional fee.

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