What: Shares of MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI) jumped more than 10% Friday after the Latin American e-commerce specialist turned in encouraging fourth-quarter results.
So what: Quarterly revenue rose 29.8% year over year to $134.6 million, which translated to 35% net income growth to $40.8 million, or $0.93 per share. MercadoLibre's results were even more impressive looking at local currencies, which resulted in year-over-year revenue and net-income growth of 49.7% and 58.1%, respectively.
Analysts, on average, were looking for earnings of just $0.78 per share on sales of $133.23 million.
Now what: MercadoLibre CEO Marcos Galperin weighed in: "Strong fourth quarter results showed positive momentum in marketplace and payments as we kept driving improvements to user experience. I look forward to more innovation in 2014, as we continue to unlock the huge potential behind Latin America's shift from offline to online commerce."
Shares may look expensive trading around 43.5 last year's earnings and 27.9 times this year's estimates, but I think that's a well-deserved premium given MercadoLibre's exceptional top- and bottom-line growth. As a result, and as long as the budding e-commerce giant can maintain its momentum, I'm convinced the stock can continue rewarding patient long-term investors from here.
Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends MercadoLibre. The Motley Fool owns shares of MercadoLibre. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.