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Tough economic conditions in Latin America in recent years have wreaked havoc with international e-commerce specialist MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI), which relies on customers who are willing and able to conduct business over the internet in order to drive its own financial success. Yet recently, things have perked up in many of the markets that MercadoLibre relies on.

Coming into its second-quarter financial report, MercadoLibre investors fully expect that the company will be able to see a nice uptick in sales and net income, and they'll want confirmation that the future looks brighter than ever for the marketplace provider. Let's take an early look at MercadoLibre, and see if it's likely to make good on its promise to grow faster.

Stats on MercadoLibre

Expected EPS Growth

27%

Expected Revenue Growth

16.2%

Forward Earnings Multiple

46

Expected 5-Year Annualized Growth Rate

25.5%

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Can MercadoLibre earnings get a stimulus boost?

In recent months, investors have actually been somewhat less enthusiastic about MercadoLibre and its prospective earnings. They've cut their second-quarter estimates by $0.01 per share, and they've made larger reductions of 3% to 4% to full-year 2016 and 2017 projections. The stock, however, has responded favorably to hopes for a brighter future, climbing 15% since mid-April.

MercadoLibre's first-quarter report laid the groundwork for a continuing rebound in the company's stock price. Revenue defied expectations for a slight decline by rising 6%, and net income soared compared to the previous year's near-breakeven performance. The number of items sold on MercadoLibre's platform soared by two-fifths, and gross merchandise volume rose even in dollar terms, despite the weakness of local currencies in South America compared to the U.S. dollar.

In addition, the MercadoPago payment service and MercadoEnvios shipping service also contributed strongly to the e-commerce giant's overall success. Rising counts of registered users point to a strengthening network effect that MercadoLibre will use to its advantage in promoting future growth.

What will send MercadoLibre even higher?

One sign of success that MercadoLibre has seen lately is the penetration of MercadoPago beyond its own e-commerce platform. Off-platform payments using MercadoPago more than doubled in the first quarter in local currency terms, and that continued a long streak of extremely fast growth that shows the increasing popularity of the payment service, even for those not using the MercadoLibre platform. That sets up the possibility that, in the long run, MercadoLibre investors might benefit from a spinoff of MercadoPago in the same way that online marketplace companies in the U.S. eventually separated from one another and became successful independent businesses in their own right.

More broadly, Latin America's size and growth potential offer a big opportunity for MercadoLibre in the long run. With nearly twice as many people in Latin America compared to the U.S., the size of MercadoLibre's market could allow the company to take a steeper path upward in its revenue and earnings growth as it becomes more popular among the region's population.

Economically, Latin America's reliance on commodities has presented huge economic challenges in recent years, and that has held back the region from efforts to make more of its consumers more prosperous, and able to afford e-commerce purchases. Now, though, a partial rebound on the commodity front has investors excited about the possibility of faster growth ahead.

Still, investors have to be willing to accept volatility if they want to invest in MercadoLibre. Political pressures are a constant tug of war in many parts of Latin America, and the region isn't nearly as stable as U.S. investors are used to seeing from domestic companies. Yet that can also create unique opportunities when the countries in the region successfully take steps to bolster their economic conditions.

In the MercadoLibre report, investors will want confirmation that the e-commerce marketplace is doing all it can to promote its growth while times are good. With so much potential, anything short of meeting those high expectations will come as a big disappointment for MercadoLibre.

Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends MercadoLibre. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.