It's not just temperatures heating up this month. More than a dozen companies have gone public in June, and there have been far more winners than losers. Just three of this month's IPOs have buckled below their initial price tags, but not all successful debutantes are faring the same.
Slack, pet food e-tailer Chewy, and gig economy marketplace operator Fiverr may be the names generating headlines among this month's newbies, but no June offering has fared as well as Revolve Group (RVLV 10.48%). The online hub for fashionistas has soared 146% since going public at $18 two weeks ago. The clothing retailer leaning on the growing reach of online influencers to drum up sales is growing and profitable, and it even has an unlikely bull in its corner. Things may not end prettily for new investors chasing the stock, but momentum is squarely in its corner right now.
Strike a pose
Revolve Group describes itself as a next-gen fashion retailer for millennials and Generation Z members. In short, it's an online apparel shop targeting anyone born since 1982. Revolve Group reaches this highly fickle audience by making cost-effective deals with fashion-forward influencers (you know, young social platform celebrities with gobs of followers).
This would seem like a laughable business model if not for the fact that it works. Revolve Group rang up $498.7 million in net sales last year, 25% ahead of the nearly $400 million it served up a year earlier. Revolve Group is also profitable, something that a lot of the recent hot IPOs can't say. It's been squarely in the black for at least the last three years, including net income of $30.7 million in 2018.
Leaning on influencers may have its critics. It's easy to hate on self-absorbed selfie snappers and laugh through the Fyre Festival documentaries, but it's hard to deny the simple math behind large audiences. Revolve Group's platform attracted an average of 9.4 million unique monthly visitors last year, and 57% of its sales came from customers visiting its site at least twice a week. These visitors also don't mind spending a lot of money in the aspirational push to live like an influencer. A whopping 79% of Revolve Group's net sales took place at full price in 2018, with an average order value of $279.
Top-line growth may be slowing -- we went from 28% growth in 2017 to 25% last year and 21% through the first three months of this year -- but when you crank out a net margin north of 6% as an upstart online retailer, you're going to get the benefit of the doubt.
Revolve Group had an unlikely cheerleader when it went public, as noted worrywart Citron Research put out a glowing report on the dot-com youth magnet. Citron established a $50 near-term price target on the stock, with more upside beyond that.
It's true that the recent fashion-related IPOs have been a mixed bag. Most of them have been volatile, and it's undeniable that the two weeks of Revolve Group euphoria will eventually have its downturns. However, with the IPO likely to draw even more attention to the platform, it's hard to bet against something that's clearly working -- and that's pretty much what fashion is all about.