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Why Etsy Stock Soared 132.6% in 2018

By Steve Symington – Updated Apr 17, 2019 at 10:42AM

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The handmade and vintage e-commerce leader accelerated growth every quarter last year.

What happened

Shares of Etsy (ETSY -1.55%) skyrocketed 132.6% in 2018, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, as the niche e-commerce site's top-line growth repeatedly stunned Wall Street.

To be sure, Etsy's most pronounced gains came after delivering accelerated year-over-year growth with each of its quarterly reports in February, May, and August, culminating with a better-than-expected 41.3% revenue increase with its third-quarter report in early November. The stock also enjoyed a 26% single-day pop in June -- leaving Etsy investors with a solid double at the halfway point of 2018 -- after Etsy announced a modest increase in its sales commission fees and raised its full-year guidance.

Man on ladder drawing yellow chart on a brick wall indicating gains


So what

With its most recent (third-quarter 2018) report in November, Etsy CEO Josh Silverman encouraged investors by noting the company took advantage of the leverage stemming from its new pricing structure to continue driving growth higher. In particular, Etsy opted to boost investments in marketing and product initiatives.

To that end, Etsy is also halfway through a two-year initiative to migrate its sites and mobile apps to Google Cloud (rather than relying on its own proprietary servers) -- a transition Chief Technology Officer Mike Fisher argued in September will "position [Etsy] well for growth by allowing us to focus on strategic initiatives, enhance site performance, and improve engineering efficiency" going forward.

Now what

If last year's timing is any indication, Etsy investors can look forward to their next quarterly update from the company late next month. As it stands, Etsy's guidance calls for full-year 2018 revenue to increase 35% to 36% from 2017. But considering retailers just capped their best holiday-season growth in six years -- according to a recent report from Mastercard SpendingPulse -- I suspect Etsy stock will extend its streak of out-performance when that time comes.

Check out the latest Etsy earnings call transcript.

Steve Symington has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Etsy and Mastercard. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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