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Buy Shopify, says Eight Capital


ShopifyBuy on the pullback, that’s the recommendation on Shopify (Shopify Stock Quote, Chart, News, Analysts, Financials NYSE:SHOP) from Eight Capital analyst Suthan Sukumar, who reviewed the company’s latest quarterly numbers in an update to clients on Wednesday.

Shares of Canadian e-commerce platform Shopify were up significantly on Wednesday as the company announced its first quarter 2021 results, coming in with total revenue of $988.6 million, representing a 110 per cent year-over-year growth, and gross profit up 117 per cent to $559 million. Adjusted EPS was $2.01 per share or $0.19 per share a year ago. (All figures in US dollars.)

“Shopify’s momentum continued into 2021 as digital commerce tailwinds remained strong and merchants took advantage of the range of capabilities offered by our platform,” said Amy Shapero, Shopify’s CFO, in a press release. “We are focused on building a commerce operating system that will help shape the future of retail. Our merchant-first business model positions us to capture the massive opportunity presented by the growth of digital commerce, benefiting both our merchants and Shopify.”

Gross Merchant Volume (GMV) for the quarter was up 114 per cent year-over-year to $37.3 billion and compared to $41.14 billion over the prime shopping season in the Q4 2020. Monthly recurring revenue (MRR) for the Q4 came in at $89.9 million, while the segment breakdown saw Subscriptions Solutions revenue come in at $320.7 million, up 71 per cent year-over-year, and Merchant Solutions revenue up 137 per cent to $668.0 million. Shopify said the growth in Subscription services was primarily due to more merchants joining the platform, while GMV drove the rise in Merchant Solutions.


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Looking at the results, Sukumar said the $989-million in revenue represented a big beat of his $866-million estimate and the consensus $859 million. Broken down, Sukumar had called for Subscription Solutions revenue of $303 million versus the realized $321 million and the analyst had called for Merchant Solutions revenue of $563 million versus the realized $668 million.

On gross profit, Shopify’s $559 million was also a beat of Sukumar’s and the Street’s $458 and $462, respectively, while adjusted EPS of $2.01 per share was far above Sukumar’s and the Street’s estimate of $0.75 per share. GMV of $37.3 billion was also better than Sukumar’s $34.56 billion and the consensus $34.13 billion.

“SHOP reported a big beat across the board for FQ1, with stronger than expected GMV and MRR growth, underscoring the durability of post-pandemic tailwinds to e-commerce demand. The company delivered on impressive revenue growth with a +15 per cent top-line beat relative to Street expectations, with more than double the adj. operating income relative to expectations,” Sukumar wrote.

Looking ahead, Shopify said it continues to expect rapid revenue growth in 2021 but one coming at a lower rate compared to 2020, citing the shift from pandemic to post-pandemic economies where some level of commerce with return to bricks and mortar.

Shopify said Subscription Solutions should come out with lower revenue growth than 2020 but higher than that of any year prior to 2020, that the surge in GMV that drove Merchant Solutions in 2020 is not likely to repeat and that Merchant Solutions revenue growth will continue to be driven by GMV growth from existing merchants, new merchants joining the platform and expanded adoption of Shopify’s merchant solutions.

“2020 catapulted commerce into a period of incredibly rapid change, presenting Shopify with unprecedented opportunities in 2021 to accelerate innovation. We continue to expect rapid growth in gross profit dollars in 2021 and plan to reinvest back into our business as aggressively as we can, with the year-over-year growth in operating expenses accelerating each quarter throughout the rest of the year. As such, we expect full year 2021 adjusted operating income to be below the level we achieved in 2020,” Shopify said in the first quarter press release.


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For his part, Sukumar stuck with his “Buy” rating and $1,700 target price, which at the time of publication represented a projected 12-month return of 31.9 per cent. Sukumar said his target implies a 37x multiple of his 2022 Sales estimate, which is a premium to SHOP’s high-growth SaaS peers but that the premium is justified by SHOP’s higher growth rates and further supported by his DCF methodology.

“While we see tougher year-over-year comps in quarters ahead, we continue to see SHOP as a key beneficiary of ongoing e-commerce adoption and see several levers for the company to deliver on upside to our/Street expectations. We see the recent pullback in shares as an attractive buying opportunity for long-term focused investors,” Sukumar said.

Shopify concluded 2020 up 184 per cent, while so far in 2021, the stock is up two per cent.

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About The Author /

Cantech Letter founder and editor Nick Waddell has lived in five Canadian provinces and is proud of his country's often overlooked contributions to the world of science and technology. Waddell takes a regular shift on the Canadian media circuit, making appearances on CTV, CBC and BNN, and contributing to publications such as Canadian Business and Business Insider.
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