After bottoming out late last year, dragged down by the decline of the broader market, e-commerce platform Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) has come roaring back, with its share price growing by 90% in just over four months.
The company added to that performance, with its shares up another 8% Tuesday after Shopify reported the financial results of its first quarter. While there was a lot to like, here are four particularly strong reasons why Shopify's stock is soaring in the wake of its financial report.
1. Better-than-expected results
Shopify reported revenue of $320.5 million, up 50% year over year, beating both analysts' consensus estimates and the company's own guidance, which topped out at $309.9 million and $310 million, respectively. This helped quell investor fears about the gradual slowing of revenue growth.
The company's bottom-line results were similarly surprising. Shopify generated an adjusted operating loss of $1.4 million, far better than the $13 million loss the company forecast at the low end of its range. This resulted in adjusted earnings per share of $0.09, more than doubling last year's $0.04 per share, and sailing past analysts' expectations for a loss of $0.05 per share.
2. Strength across its business
Shopify delivered solid growth in both of its major business segments.
Subscription revenue grew to $140.5 million, up 40% year over year. This was driven by monthly recurring revenue (MRR) of $44.2 million, up 36% compared to the prior-year quarter, and now represents 14% of the company's total revenue.
Merchant solutions also shined, growing to $180 million, up 58% year over year. This was the result of soaring gross merchandise volume (GMV) of $11.9 billion, an increase of 50% compared to the year-ago quarter. The segment was also boosted by robust growth of Shopify Capital and Shopify Shipping.
3. Beat and raise
Investors seem to like nothing more than when a company exceeds expectations and raises its guidance for the year. That's precisely what Shopify did.
The company raised its full-year outlook in the wake of the quarter's performance. Shopify now expects revenue for 2019 in a range of $1.48 billion to $1.50 billion, up from its forecast of $1.46 billion to $1.48 billion issued just three months ago. It also doesn't hurt that the midpoint of Shopify's revenue guidance is now in line with the $1.49 billion expected by analysts for the year.
4. Continued robust growth
It isn't just the full-year forecast that has investors excited. For the second quarter, Shopify is guiding for revenue in a range of $345 million to $350 million, which would represent year-over-year growth of between 41% and 43%.
In order to put this into the context of investor sentiment, analysts anticipate revenue of $342.25 million, or growth of about 40% -- below management's guidance. Wall Street is also expecting adjusted earnings per share of $0.04.
Cashing in on e-commerce
The company has been faced with slowing revenue growth in recent quarters, and while it ticked slightly lower -- to 50%, down from 54% sequentially -- Shopify is still delivering on all the metrics that matter to investors. It's important not to get too caught up in the quarter-to-quarter mind game, and focus instead on the long-term trend away from brick-and-mortar sales and toward online purchases.
Shopify is providing the tools that help fuel that trend, which will be ongoing for years to come.