After pausing share repurchases in the second quarter to assess the macroeconomic environment caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY) announced yesterday it's ready to resume buybacks.

A unique time in history

Etsy's marketplace exploded with activity after Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, confirmed that the public should wear face masks when in public to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Woman crafting necklace with shells

Image source: Getty Images.

Consumer searches for the item rocketed higher on Etsy, with CEO Josh Silverman saying searches for the term "face mask" at one point hit nine per second.

Marketplace gross merchandise sales surged 125% in the second quarter, contributing to revenue shooting 137% higher.

Etsy's existing stock repurchase program was launched in November 2018 with an authorization to buy back $200 million worth of stock. Before the program was paused, the online marketplace had repurchased over $122 million worth of shares, leaving it with $77.5 million remaining on the authorization.

Etsy ended the second quarter with over $1 billion in cash, equivalents, and short-term investments and $803 million in long-term debt, giving it plenty of cushion to strategically buy back its stock again. 

Yet at over 63 times next year's earnings estimates, 14 times sales, and 41 times free cash flow, Etsy's stock is not cheap. It has tripled in value in 2020 and more than quadrupled since its March lows.

 
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