MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI), the Latin American online auctioneer, continued to deliver remarkable results at a time when most companies are failing to meet expectations.
Q4 revenues of $33.5 million were marginally short of the Street’s expectations of $34 million but reported 24% growth over the year. EPS of $0.11 was significantly higher than the market’s expectations of $0.06. During the quarter, Mercado repurchased 229,700 shares at a total cost of $2.6 million.
For the year, revenues stood at $137 million and recorded 61% growth. EPS of $0.42 grew 91% over the year.
The company saw significant growth in the number of live listings, unique sellers and buyers, and gross merchandise volume in the quarter: successful items grew 22% and gross merchandise volume 14%. For the full year, successful items grew 21% and gross merchandise volume 38%. MercadoLibre added 1.7 million registered users, bringing the total number to 33.7 million.
During the year MercadoLibre upgraded their product and listing pages, which will help improve the site’s user interface, making it easier for buyers to shop. They also plan to improve their search technology to help buyers.
They continued to innovate during the year and launched a new real estate platform that has customized functionality for real estate searches. MercadoLibre hopes to have the same success in the real estate segment that they have in auto classifieds. In Q4, they were ranked as the number one car site in Argentina in terms of traffic and the second-largest car site in Brazil and Mexico as measured by unique visitors.
They also launched a beta version of Mercado Clicks, their advertising sales platform, which will enable advertisers to attract traffic to their sites by purchasing text displays that appear on the primary MercadoLibre site. Mercado Clicks allows buyers to browse products from both their marketplace sellers and branded retailers in a single destination.
Their payment portal, MercadoPago, also saw good business. However, the global credit crisis has resulted in rising interest rates on consumer credit, causing a slowdown in Pago’s adoption rate.
CEO Marcos Galperin continues to drive a strong company in the high growth Latin American market. The stock is currently trading at $15.17 with a market capitalization of about $668 million.