It was a bumpy landing for MakeMyTrip
Shares of India's leading online travel site -- and the hottest IPO since 2007 -- took a nearly 27% tumble after reporting disappointing quarterly results.
You hate to see a company stumble in its first quarterly report as a public company, and MakeMyTrip earned its moniker big time. Revenue in its fiscal second quarter may have climbed 41% higher to $23.8 million -- or $12.9 million before service costs -- but it posted a small loss for the period.
The red ink turns into an adjusted profit of a mere $0.02 a share if you're willing to back out share-based compensation costs and IPO-related items. Either way, this is a company that hasn't turned a profit in each of its three previous fiscal years, so profitability will be measured with tweezers and a microscope for now.
Margins are lousy, largely because thin-margin airline ticketing accounts for 89% of the gross bookings. It could even get more threadbare on the front if MakeMyTrip comes up on the paying end of a service tax dispute.
MakeMyTrip's guidance of $58 million to $61 million in revenue after service costs for fiscal 2011 makes the stock's $1.5 billion market cap at its peak two months ago seem ridiculous.
This isn't India's version of China's Ctrip.com
The same investors that rallied around Rediff.com
The silver lining here is that MakeMyTrip remains India's leading site, generating nearly half of the online traffic in India. Its nearest rivals -- Yatra, Cleartrip, and Travelguru -- are far behind.
I blasted MakeMyTrip's inflated share price shortly after the IPO. It appears that I was right. Even the stock's $14 IPO price tag may have been a bit generous this early in its life cycle.
"Color me long-term bullish on this one, but I think it will head lower before it appreciates several years out," I wrote at the time, suggesting Tata Motors
I still feel that way, though I'll keep an eye on MakeMyTrip anyway. If it does manage to drop all the way down to teens, it would make a compelling bet for those willing to take on the patience and risk required to see this story stock tell its tale in a few years.
Why isn't India generating the same kind of growth stock darlings as China? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz would love to come across an Indian growth stock worth recommending to Rule Breakers newsletter subscribers. He does not own any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.