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Shopify (NYSE: SHOP ), an innovative newcomer to the ecommerce field, has been on a roller coaster in recent weeks, with the Shopify stock price fluctuating between 122 and 163 since Oct. 1. But the ups and downs seem to have more to do with the overall decline in technology stocks than in any specific problem at Shopify.
Even a positive earnings report was not enough to steady the ship. The Canadian company revealed that third-quarter revenue jumped by 58% to $270 million, exceeding estimates of $258 million.
Shopify said it earned four cents a share in the September quarter, down a penny from a year earlier. Many analysts had predicted a loss.
Shopify forecast full-year revenue in a range of $1.05 billion to $1.06 billion, up from its earlier guidance of $1.02 billion to $1.03 billion.
Shopify's Value Is in Being Smaller
Shopify sets up ecommerce websites for small businesses and partners with others to handle digital payments and shipping.
It also offers customer relationship management software so businesses can do targeted marketing. Shopify has been a leader in using cloud-based technology to expedite transactions.
Shopify's management has concentrated on smaller retailers who aren't equipped to sell efficiently through digital channels. Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has, of course, held a dominant position in ecommerce for two decades now, but as the market shifts toward smaller sellers, Shopify is betting it can make some serious profits.
Despite the recent gyrations, Shopify stock is up almost 50% from a year ago, and has been rising steadily since it first went public.
"Solid execution and continued rapid growth drove our strong results in the third quarter," said Shopify CFO Amy Shapero .
She cited new features that are designed to help merchants prepare for the holidays, merchants' gross merchandise volume expansion, healthy growth in Shopify's merchant count, and overall growth in the e-commerce market as the crucial reasons for the better-than-expected earnings report.
For its fourth quarter, Shopify expects revenue between $315 million and $325 million; the midpoint of this guidance implies 44% year-over-year growth. On average, analysts were expecting Shopify's fourth-quarter revenue to rise 42% year over year.
Interest Rates and Shopify Stock
With the company's balance sheet in good shape and plans for expansion under way, the recent decline in the Shopify stock price should be attributed primarily to broader worries among investors about possible tightening by the Federal Reserve or an escalation of President Trump's trade war with China.
A rise in interest rates could indeed have a detrimental impact on a relatively small company like Shopify. Without serious cash flow to fall back on, the management has been relying on debt to fuel its expansion efforts.
But with earnings coming in better than anticipated and steady performance over a period of several years, investors should not allow the recent wobbles to keep them from investing in Shopify stock.
This is a company that could be a major player in the rapidly expanding ecommerce industry.
The author does not own any of the stocks mentioned in this article.
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