What happened

Shares of online home-goods retailer Wayfair (NYSE:W) are soaring today, up about 26% as of 11:30 a.m. EDT, after the company reported first-quarter results that were better than Wall Street had expected.

So what

Wayfair's net loss increased to $289.9 million from $200.4 million in the year-ago period, but it gave consumer-discretionary investors some good reasons to cheer. 

On an adjusted basis, excluding one-time items and stock-based compensation, Wayfair lost $2.30 per share. Revenue totaled $2.33 billion, up 20.1% from a year ago. That was a double beat: Wall Street analysts polled by FactSet had expected an adjusted loss of $2.60 per share on revenue of $2.31 billion.

Rising orange and blue stock chart

Image source: Getty Images.

Wayfair had 21.1 million active customers as of March 31, up 28.6% from a year ago, with average revenue per customer over the last 12 months of $449. It delivered 9.9 million orders in the first quarter, a 21% increase from a year ago.

In a statement, CEO Niraj Shah said that business has boomed since consumers began sheltering at home in mid-March to slow the spread of COVID-19: "The broader market disruption has highlighted the many differentiated advantages we have built as the e-commerce leader in Home over the last two decades. Millions of new shoppers have discovered Wayfair while they shelter in place at home, and we are seeing strong acceleration in new and repeat customer orders across almost all classes of goods and across all regions."

The company had $891 million in cash as of the end of the first quarter.

Now what

Citing the ongoing uncertainties amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, Wayfair declined to give specific guidance for the second quarter, aside from saying that its capital expenditures would likely be roughly flat compared to Q1. But it did say that it expects the impact of COVID-19 to be much greater in the second quarter than it was in the first.