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Why MercadoLibre Stock Popped Today

By Jeremy Bowman – Aug 8, 2019 at 3:19PM

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Shares of the Latin American e-commerce operator surged again on another strong earnings report.

What happened

Shares of MercadoLibre (MELI -1.02%) were delighting investors again today after the Latin American e-commerce star delivered another blowout earnings, beating estimates on both the top and bottom lines. It marked the third time this year that the stock has surged on earnings, giving investors a more-than-100% gain through 2019.

As of 3:02 p.m. EDT, the stock was up 12%.

So what 

After wowing investors in the first quarter with huge growth from its MercadoPago payment network, MercadoLibre pulled a similar trick this time around for the second quarter. Revenue more than doubled on a currency-neutral basis to $545.2 million, and rose 63% on the basis of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). That was much better than estimates calling for 50% top-line growth.

Fingers placing an order on a smartphone.

Image source: Getty Images.

The company again saw strong growth in payments with total payment volume up 90.3% to $6.5 billion, and for the first time ever recorded more than 120 million off-platform payments in a single quarter. Its fast-growing mobile point of sale (MPOS) business, which is basically supplying brick-and-mortar merchants with card readers and other such devices and handling electronic payments for them, saw volume skyrocket 172% in the quarter and now makes up 42% of off-platform sales. Its marketplace also continued to make steady gains with a 33% increase in currency-neutral gross merchandise volume to $3.4 billion.

On the bottom line, those gains helped MercadoLibre flip a loss from a year ago to a profit of $16.2 million, or $0.31 a share, better than estimates at $0.25.

In a statement, CFO Pedro Arnt said, "We are pleased and optimistic about how 2019 is playing out for us. We delivered another very strong quarter as we continue to grow and scale our leading e-commerce and FinTech ecosystems across Latin America."

Now what

MercadoLibre did not offer guidance in its report, but it seems reasonable to expect the company's soaring growth to continue. It's overcome a rocky macroeconomic climate in much of Latin America, and its payments business has accumulated significant momentum, helping the company deliver a solid profit last quarter, putting any fears about profitability to rest. The stock has been one of the best performers over the last decade and this year with shares up 1,930% and 136%, respectively, during those periods.

After the latest round of results, it's clear MercadoLibre is in the midst of another expansion cycle. Investors should continue to reap the rewards for the foreseeable future.

Jeremy Bowman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends MercadoLibre. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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