Shares of Wayfair (NYSE:W) are on fire this year. The stock has now more than doubled in 2017, a feat it also achieved in 2015 as its first full year as a public company. At least one Wall Street pro thinks that the online furniture retailer will keep building on its heady gains. Peter Keith at Piper Jaffray is feeling more upbeat about Wayfair stock this morning, raising his price target from $70 to $87.
Wayfair CEO Niraj Shah participated in a fireside chat at Piper Jaffray's 37th Annual Consumer Conference on Tuesday, and his encouraging tone when it comes to initiatives in Wayfair's logistics and exclusive brands is fortifying the analyst's bullishness. Keith feels that sales growth is leveling off at an impressive 30% to 40% growth rate, giving Wayfair healthy top-line growth and improving visibility as it strives for long-term profitability.
Wayfair barreled through Keith's old price target of $70 last week, so it makes perfect sense for the analyst to jack up his price goal if he wants to stick to his Overweight rating. The new price target suggests 23% of upside off of Tuesday's market close.
The stock is no recliner
Investors have been treated to juicy gains on odd-numbered years in Wayfair's brief trading history. The shares soared 140% in 2015, and they're up 101% so far this year. The news hasn't been kind on even-numbered years. The stock went public in late 2014, only to close 32% lower by year's end. Wayfair stock also retreated 26% in 2016.
The stock's been rolling this year despite signs that competitive pressures are starting to swell. Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) wants a bigger role in the percolating online furniture retailing market, of course. Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) was talked up earlier this year as a potential acquirer of Wayfair, but that seems less likely after rolling out a national ad campaign for Hayneedle two weeks ago. Wal-Mart acquired Wayfair rival Hayneedle as part of its Jet.com purchase. Reuters also reported last week that IKEA is planning to start testing the sale of its products on third-party websites, something that may not be so bad for Wayfair at first glance if it's stocking IKEA products -- but something that could prove problematic with the playing field leveling as those same products pop up on Amazon.com and Wal-Mart's Hayneedle.
Wayfair isn't sitting still on a cozy armchair. Last month it rolled out visual search, leveraging artificial intelligence by allowing shoppers to take a photo of what they're looking for and letting Wayfair's engine sift through the more than 8 million products it offers to find the closest matches.
Piper Jaffray's Keith isn't the only analyst feeling better about Wayfair these days. Brian Nagel at Oppenheimer upgraded the stock earlier this month, boosting his rating from Perform to Outperform. The attraction of Wayfair's inventory-light model and its reaccelerating sales growth make the stock compelling in Nagel's eyes, despite this year's big run. He set an $80 price target.
Wayfair has cracked the code when it comes to e-commerce for bulky home furnishings. The competition is coming, but that's also model validation for one of this year's hottest stocks.