Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

DoorDash Q1 Earnings Preview: Here's What You Need to Know

By Parkev Tatevosian - May 12, 2021 at 8:15AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The delivery platform will report first-quarter results on Thursday, May 13.

DoorDash (DASH -0.62%) is coming off a strong year in 2020. Folks who were hesitant to leave their homes while a deadly pandemic was in full swing chose to order food for delivery more often. As a result, activity on DoorDash's platform surged. 

The last-mile delivery service company is set to report first-quarter earnings on Thursday, May 13. This will be only DoorDash's second earnings release since the company went public in early December 2020.

What will be front and center in investors' minds is how consumer ordering behavior is changing as the pandemic wanes. Restrictions are easing on restaurants in nearly all states in the U.S., allowing more people to dine in. So when DoorDash reports earnings, investors interested in the stock will want to know how the marketplace gross order value (MGOV) fared this past quarter.

A man delivering a bag of goods to a person.

Image source: Getty Images.

Will consumers continue ordering food for delivery? 

Marketplace gross order value is the total dollar value of orders placed on DoorDash's platform. From this figure, DoorDash takes a percentage (Take Rate), which counts as its revenue. The rest goes to restaurants, drivers, and other retailers. The MGOV will give valuable insight into how and/or whether consumers changed ordering behavior during the quarter. 

In the fourth quarter, DoorDash reported MGOV of $8.2 billion, up a whopping 226% from the year prior. The company is guiding investors to look for MGOV of between $8.6 billion and $9.1 billion in the first quarter. Given the successful rollout of the vaccine in the U.S., it would not be surprising if actual results come in toward the lower end of that range.

Still, DoorDash's guidance on MGOV for all of 2021 is between $30 billion and $33 billion, which would be a 27.5% increase at the midpoint from the $24.7 billion in MGOV for 2020. So, despite the rollout of vaccines in 2021, and folks returning closer to pre-pandemic eating patterns, DoorDash expects robust order growth from the elevated levels in 2020 -- a rosy outlook, to be sure.

That's why when the company reports first-quarter earnings on Thursday, the MGOV is what investors will want to analyze. In addition, this next report will set the stage for the rest of the year in terms of customer changes in eating habits.

What this could mean for investors

Analysts on Wall Street expect DoorDash to report revenue of $993 million and a loss per share of $0.26. Share prices are down almost 13% year to date, partly because investors anticipate less enthusiasm from consumers as restaurants open for seating inside.

In the short run, DoorDash may experience volatility from the change in consumer eating behavior. However, over the longer run, DoorDash can add delivery of more products besides meals. For instance, it recently signed a deal with Rite Aid to offer its more than 24,000 products for same-day delivery. As it adds categories of products for delivery, it can continue to grow MGOV for several years.

Still, the stock is not cheap -- it's trading at a forward price-to-sales ratio of 10.84. Investors interested in starting a position in DoorDash would be prudent to wait and observe how changing consumer eating behavior affects MGOV for a quarter or two.  

Parkev Tatevosian has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

DoorDash, Inc. Stock Quote
DoorDash, Inc.
DASH
$76.89 (-0.62%) $0.48

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
400%
 
S&P 500 Returns
128%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/15/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.