Shares of Latin American e-commerce and digital payments company MercadoLibre (MELI 2.59%) went up 12.2% in October, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. Throughout the month, stock analysts upgraded their outlook for the company and raised their target prices for the stock. This led to investor optimism, resulting in MercadoLibre stock beating the market average.
According to The Fly, there were multiple upgrades for MercadoLibre stock during October. For example, an analyst at Jefferies raised their price target on the stock from $1,350 per share to $1,560 per share, citing their belief that the company's current gross merchandise volume is outpacing expectations. Later, an analyst at Deutsche Bank raised their price target from $1,330 per share to $1,500 per share, noting the COVID-19 pandemic is likely permanently changing consumer habits in MercadoLibre's favor.
This isn't anything investors haven't already observed firsthand this year. For example, during MercadoLibre's second quarter, business boomed across the board. Adjusting for fluctuations in foreign currency, gross merchandise volume increased 101.5% year over year for its retail business and total payment volume went up 142.1% for Mercado Pago -- the company's fintech solution. Judging by these two numbers, the coronavirus did indeed boost MercadoLibre's adoption.
Analyst opinions are valuable, helping investors see things that could otherwise be overlooked. But at the end of the day, opinions don't create shareholder value -- business results do. MercadoLibre is likely continuing to perform well during this time, but shareholders will have to wait until after the market closes on Nov. 4 to see its report for the third quarter of 2020. Big growth is expected, but management didn't provide official guidance.