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Cloud Stocks: Shopify Soars to an All-Time High

Posted on Friday, Aug 7th 2020

Ontario-based Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) recently announced its second quarter results that blew out all market expectations. The company’s focus on delivering digital services for its merchants helped drive its stock to record highs.

Shopify’s Financials

Shopify’s second quarter revenues grew 52% to $714.3 million, significantly ahead of the market’s forecast of $507.9 million. Net income was $36 million, compared with a net loss of $28.7 million reported a year ago. On an adjusted basis, earnings grew to $1.05 per share, shattering the market’s forecast of $0.01 per share.

By segment, subscription revenues grew 28% to $196.4 million, ahead of the estimates of $192 million. Merchant solutions revenue rose 83% to $518 million.

Among other metrics, gross merchandise volume (GMV) rose 119% to $30.1 billion in the quarter, ahead of the estimates of $16.83 billion. New stores created on its online platform grew 71%, driven by extension of the free trial period on standard plans from 14 to 90 days. The current crisis also resulted in more physical stores opting for their online option.

The other side effects of the virus included doubling of GMV of food, beverages, and tobacco categories when compared with the GMV of these products from Q1. Gross Payments Volume (GPV) grew 42% over the year to $13.4 billion. Shopify Shipping saw strong adoption in the quarter. The shipping service is being used by 49% of total eligible merchants across the United States and Canada, compared with 42% a year ago.

Like the previous quarter, Shopify did not provide a forecast for the quarter.

Shopify’s Growth Focus

Shopify continues to leverage the current global conditions to drive more business online. One of the new services launched to address this was their new mobile shopping app — Shop. Shop integrates features from Shop Pay and Arrive to allow customers to discover local businesses, receive product recommendations, check-out purchases, and track online orders. Other apps released to drive customer engagement include Shopify Email, Shopify Plus Admin, and Shopify Flow.

In addition to the apps, Shopify has introduced online tipping to help support the food, services, and local delivery businesses. It introduced natively integrated channels on sites like Facebook shops,, and Pinterest to help merchants sell in more places and to drive new traffic to their stores.

Shopify has also improved its point-of-sale (POS) offering, introduced its Tap & Chip hardware in Canada, and released a new point-of-sale software this summer. Together, its POS is providing a seamless omni-channel experience for both the merchant and the buyer. With more transactions shifting online, retailers are pivot their stores to serve as order fulfillment centers. To cater to this transformation, Shopify enhanced its curbside pickup and its local delivery capabilities to provide merchants with more control over their retail operations by taking care of their last-mile execution.

Shopify also announced plans to release two financial services products later this year, Shopify Balance and Shopify Installments. Shopify Balance will allow merchants to access their cash faster by providing them with money management tools. With these tools, merchants will be able to understand cash flows, track expenses, and pay bills. They will receive a physical or virtual card that will allow them to access their own sales revenue faster than before, and encourage them to reinvest with rewards like cash back and discounts.

Shop Pay Installments will allow merchants the ability to provide buyers with more options to pay in installments with no interest and no fees. The tool will help merchants increase their sales volume and drive higher conversion rates. Installments will also be integrated into its checkout app Shop Pay to allow for faster checkout.

Shopify continued to work with its developer community to help them build apps and integrations for the merchant network. For instance, it recently added a feature that now enables app developers to allow for annual subscription billing within its Billing API. The feature was requested by developers to enable merchants to be billed for the apps once a year. Annual subscriptions are useful to secure app users and income for developers.

Shopify has a thriving developer community. It claims that 87% of its merchants rely on apps created by this community for their e-commerce transactions. One in three Shopify merchants seek help from Shopify Partners every 6 months and earn revenues through these applications. For the period 2014-2018, Shopify has helped these developers earn $280 million in revenues. Shopify believes that nearly 25% of its developers have an annual income of over $272,000 through its platform.

The market is pleased with Shopify’s performance. Its stock is trading at $1,088.13 with a market capitalization of $130.7 billion. It touched a 52-week high of $1,107.92 earlier this week. The stock has been climbing from the year low of $282.08 that it had fallen to in November last year.

This segment is a part in the series : Cloud Stocks

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