A lousy year for growth stock investors keeps on getting worse. The iShares S&P 500 Growth ETF is down a whopping 23% since the start of 2022.
The global economy already had legs of jelly thanks to the ongoing pandemic. Then Russia's invasion of Ukraine effectively took both countries offline in the blink of an eye. As is often the case when things look bleak, the bottom has fallen out from under the best stocks just as quickly as the worst ones.
Right now, there's a top e-commerce stock that's down 74% since the beginning of 2022. One look at its chart is enough to scare off most investors, but the road ahead is a lot smoother than you might think. In fact, this cross-border facilitator of direct-to-consumer sales looks like a screaming buy right now.
Global-e Online is a growth stock trading at value stock prices
Global-e Online (GLBE -3.01%) recently upset investors by admitting the war in Europe would negatively affect its performance this year. All the company did was lower its revenue outlook for 2022 from a range between $411 million and $421 million down to a range between $383 million and $403 million.
Even at the low end of Global-e Online's new revenue forecast, the company expects its top line to grow by 56% compared to 2021. That's all the more impressive when you consider that 2022 is going to be a relatively lousy year for e-commerce, now that the pandemic-related restrictions on in-person shopping, dining, and travel have mostly been lifted.
Global-e Online specializes in enabling cross-border commerce for companies all over the world, and a significant portion of its business comes from the European continent. The new guidance reflects a significant loss of business related to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but the stock price has been beaten down way too far.
At recent prices, the company trades at 7.6 times the midpoint of this year's revenue expectation. This would be a reasonable valuation for an e-commerce business that you expect to grow by around 10% annually. It's an unimaginably low price to pay for a business expected to grow by more than 50% during an especially difficult year for its industry.
At the moment, Global-e Online is losing money on a GAAP basis, but it's breaking even once we adjust for non-cash expenses. If the company continues on its present trajectory, it will soon be strongly profitable when measured with any yardstick. Global-e Online reported an adjusted gross profit in the first quarter that worked out to 39.1% of total revenue, which was a big improvement over the 33.3% gross margin reported a year earlier.
A long-running shift from traditional retail toward online shopping that accelerated in 2020 and 2021 isn't the only tailwind pushing Global-e forward. Calculating import duties and translating shopping experiences into new languages present challenges that most direct-to-consumer businesses can't handle on their own. The company's growing level of cross-border competence keeps attracting larger clients that want to market their brands directly to consumers all over the globe.
Even a large, well-established brand like Adidas knows it makes more sense to hire Global-e Online than to attempt to build its own cross-border e-commerce solutions. To this end, Germany's most popular athletic apparel business launched in new markets with Global-e Online in the first quarter. Already, Global-e is facilitating sales for Adidas in 16 international markets, with more on the way.
During its first-quarter earnings call, management said the number of new merchants doing business with Global-e Online so far this year is almost twice the number it had launched at the same point in 2021. Don't be surprised if the rapid growth continues through the end of the year.
North American e-commerce giant Shopify (SHOP -4.79%) acquired a significant stake in Global-e Online shortly before its stock market debut last year, but the partners' new native integration didn't emerge from its pilot phase until last month. With Shopify's enormous client roster gaining access to Global-e Online's services, cross-border transactions could soar past expectations by the end of the year.