Shopify Profitability Remains A Concern, 5 Analysts Offer Commentary On Q1 Earnings

Zinger Key Points
  • Shopify reported its Q1 revenue and operating income ahead of the consensus by 1% and 7%, respectively, one analyst said.
  • The company’s projection of Q/Q growth in GAAP operating expense makes EBIT profitability more uncertain, another analyst added.
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Shares of Shopify Inc SHOP tanked in early trading on Thursday, after the company reported its first-quarter results.

The results came amid an exciting earnings season. Here are some key analyst takeaways.

  • JMP Securities analyst Andrew Boone upgraded the rating from Market Perform to Market Outperform, while establishing a price target of $80.
  • Piper Sandler analyst Clarke Jeffries upgraded the rating from Underweight to Neutral rating, while keeping the price target at $63.
  • Goldman Sachs analyst Gabriela Borges maintained a Neutral rating, while cutting the price target from $75 to $67.
  • Mizuho Securities analyst Siti Panigrahi reiterated a Neutral rating, while reducing the price target from $75 to $65.
  • Needham analyst Anna Andreeva reiterated a Hold rating on the stock.

Check out other analyst stock ratings.

JMP Securities: Shopify reported strong first-quarter results. Revenue and operating income beat the consensus by 1% and 7%, respectively. However, the company's gross profit margins are expected to contract in the second quarter, Boone said in the upgrade note. Expect increased investments in marketing, "despite our GMV estimates remaining approximately unchanged."

"Our upgrade is driven by the potential for new merchant cohorts to contribute in 2025 and beyond, Plus subscription price increases coming on in 2H24, and our belief that the company remains a best-in-class eCommerce platform that is taking share and has multiple adjacencies across financial services, advertising, and merchant services," the analyst wrote. Shopify is "investing behind its strength," he added.

Piper Sandler: Shopify's top-line and GMV beats were of the lowest magnitude since the second and third quarters of ’22, Jeffries said. He added that the company surprisingly guided to sequential growth in GAAP operating expense in low-to-mid single digits.

"With the logistics comp coming out after Q2, low-to-mid 20s pro forma growth in Q2 could still point to high-teens to ~20% growth in the second half," the analyst wrote. "The sequential increase in OpEx however on top of the elevated OpEx outcome in Q1, puts EBIT profitability even more uncertain than a quarter ago," he further stated.

Goldman Sachs: Shopify's GMV grew by 23% and came in 2% higher than Street expectations, Borges said. "Shopify guided to high-teens % revenue growth in 2Q24, below the Street at 19%," he added.

The free cash flow margin guidance is similar to the first quarter, which is 13% below the Street, with the implied EBIT margin guidance coming in 200 basis points below expectations, the analyst stated. "Shopify noted compelling opportunities to invest in longer term initiatives such as international, enterprise, B2B and POS," he added.

Mizuho Securities: Shopify's first-quarter beat was modest and results missed buy-side expectations, Panigrahi said.

"Q2 revenue, implied operating margin, and FCF guidance also appeared to fall short of consensus expectations, potentially raising concerns that the counter-cyclical marketing investments might unwind some of the strong profitability improvements from last year," the analyst wrote. Concerns around profitability could weigh on shares "until we see meaningful payback on these marketing investments," he added.

Needham: Shopify's strong momentum continued in the first quarter. But guidance for rising operating expenses in the second quarter "is taking away some of the earnings upside investors were expecting," Andreeva said.

"Majority of Plus merchants opted into 3 year contracts at existing rates–and hence higher Plus pricing isn’t having as much upside on the P&L as standard plans did last year, plus GM gains are moderating on top of Fulfillment exit benefit in 2H23 and ongoing mix shift to Payments," the analyst further wrote.

SHOP Price Action: Shares of Shopify had declined by 1.64% to $61.72 at the time of publication on Thursday.

Now Read: Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest Purchases Over $30M of Shopify Shares Amid Q1 Numbers-Driven Plunge

Image: Shutterstock

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Posted In: Analyst ColorEarnings MissesUpgradesPrice TargetReiterationAnalyst RatingsMoversTrading IdeasAndrew BooneAnna AndreevaClarke Jeffriese-commerceExpert IdeasGabriela BorgesGoldman SachsJMP SecuritiesMizuho SecuritiesNeedhamPiper SandlersSiti PanigrahiStories That Matter
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