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DoorDash's Monster Quarter: Revenue Nearly Triples

By Parkev Tatevosian - Updated May 17, 2021 at 4:59PM

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Consumers fueled by stimulus checks increased orders from DoorDash.

DoorDash (DASH -0.67%) reported blowout first-quarter earnings last Thursday, and shares of the delivery platform are up nearly 16% since then. The company pointed to consumers who were flush with cash after stimulus checks hit their bank accounts as a reason for the strong performance. 

Investors were impressed by robust ordering activity on the platform even though states are easing restrictions at restaurants. Expectations were that as restaurants began welcoming people inside for dining, it would reduce the growth at DoorDash. 

Consumers had a good appetite  

That was far from what happened, as DoorDash's revenue nearly tripled to $1.1 billion for the first quarter compared to $362 million a year prior. The results were better than the $993 million in revenue that analysts on Wall Street were expecting.

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Image source: Getty Images.

The increase in revenue was driven by a surge in ordering on the platform. Gross order value (GOV) more than tripled in the quarter to reach $9.9 billion, which was up from $3.1 billion in the same quarter a year ago. DoorDash keeps a percentage of this order value (its take rate), and the rest goes to restaurants, drivers, and other sellers on the platform. The company did warn that the take rate trended down in the quarter, dropping by 100 basis points to 10.9% from 11.9% in the year prior as it had to offer better incentives for drivers to work. 

Interestingly, while most orders are for meal delivery, orders from other categories -- including convenience, grocery, alcohol, pet products, flowers, and gifts -- increased by 40% from the previous quarter. These categories will be key in driving growth for DoorDash in the long run, especially as consumer dining behavior normalizes from the effects of the pandemic.

What this could mean for investors 

Resilience in customer orders despite restaurants reopening for in-person dining is a good sign for DoorDash shareholders. It alleviates some fears of a snapback of revenue once consumers have the option to dine inside at restaurants again. The surprisingly good results from the quarter gave management the confidence to raise guidance for adjusted EBITDA and GOV for the rest of the year. 

DoorDash is now guiding investors to adjusted EBITDA of between $0 and $300 million and GOV in the range of $35 billion to $38 billion. That is up from the previous ranges of $0 to $200 million, and $30 billion to $33 billion for adjusted EBITDA and GOV, respectively. So it's no wonder that investors sent shares of DoorDash soaring by over 20% since announcing these fantastic results.

The jump in share price means that DoorDash is now selling at a forward price-to-sales ratio of 12.47 after trading at slightly below 10 heading into earnings. The stock is not cheap, but DoorDash has excellent long-run prospects for investors looking for a turbocharged growth company. However, it will probably be best to wait for a pullback in share price before starting a position.  

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.

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