top of page

Is this e-commerce giant a buy?

It’s time to explore an e-commerce conglomerate. Here is the deep dive on $SHOP, otherwise known as Shopify.

Current Price: $1,466.73

52/Wk High: $1,650.00

52/Wk Low: $875.00

Market Cap: $183.0 Billion

3 Month Performance: -2.21%

Read below for the deep dive!

Shopify ( $SHOP ) is a leading SaaS commerce company that provides users not only with all of the tools necessary to set up a digital storefront, but additional solutions including point of sale (POS) systems, marketing tools, logistics solutions, and much more.

Exploring Shopify, the company follows the common software-as-a-service (SaaS) business model, in which software is licensed as a subscription product to customers but is hosted by the company’s cloud infrastructure.

Do note, not all revenue is generated via a SaaS model, and a smaller minority of Shopify revenue can be attributed to hardware sales, such as Point of Sale (POS) hardware.

Sifting through revenue avenues, Shopify generates revenue through a bevy of areas, including subscription plans, transaction fees, referral fees, hardware sales, logistics services, their unique App Marketplace, the Theme Store, the Shopify Exchange, marketing channels, and much more.

Although, it is important to note that Shopify classifies revenues under two core labels, Subscription Solutions, and Merchant Solutions.

To lead, Subscription Solutions revenue is comprised of subscription fees, POS Pro fees, domain sales, app sales, and theme sales.

Breaking down the company’s subscription offerings, there are six core plans: Basic Shopify, Shopify, Advanced Shopify, Shopify Lite, Shopify Plus, and Free Trial.

Quickly summarizing the six core plans, each offers improved credit card rates, increased staff accounts, better shipping discounts, and more features as the subscription level ascends.

To round out subscription solutions, it is important to note that the Shopify Plus plan is built for enterprise-level merchants, allowing for higher volume and improved efficiency.

On the flip side, Merchant Solutions revenue is comprised of payment processing fees, advertising revenue, POS hardware sales, and referral fees.

Breaking down the Merchant Solutions revenue segment, Shopify Payments, Shopify Capital, Shopify Shipping, and Shopify Point of Sale are all included under the segment’s umbrella.

Expanding on Shopify, it is important to dig into the company’s e-commerce ecosystem.

Breaking down the ecosystem, Shopify offers merchants a bevy of useful tools and solutions, including not only digital storefronts and building tools, but marketing, payment, logistics, customer management, and wholesale tools.

Shopify is led by founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tobi Lutke, who founded the company in 2006 with Scott Lake. Since then, Lutke has continued to build the company, leading it to what is now one of the largest e-commerce companies in the world.

Behind Lutke is a strong management team comprised of leaders with vast experience from the likes of Social Fabric, Genotek, Goldman Sachs, and more. Do note, multiple team members were former executives or founders of separate start-ups.

Exploring partnerships across the company, Shopify has and maintains partnerships with a multitude of mega names including Google, Facebook, Instagram, eBay, Walmart, Spotify, and as of most recently TikTok and Microsoft.

Throughout the third quarter, Shopify partnered with TikTok to introduce TikTok shopping to merchants. The partnership enables merchants to create a TikTok for business and link products directly from the platform to their website.

Furthermore, most recently Shopify partnered with Microsoft to bring product listings directly to the shopping tab on Bing, Microsoft Start, and Microsoft Edge. The capabilities will all be offered to merchants through the Microsoft Channel app listed on Shopify’s app store.

Summarizing the third quarter, Shopify also launched Shopify Markets, Shopify Balance, and Shopify Shipping in the UK. Shortly after closing the quarter, Shopify went on to launch the Shopify Global ERP program and Spotify channel.

You can read more on the Shopify Global ERP program through the link below.

Digging into the numbers, Shopify missed Q3 2021 expectations, delivering an EPS of $0.81, below the analyst’s EPS consensus estimate of $1.18. On a year-over-year basis, EPS shrank by 28.32%.

On the revenue front, Shopify delivered $1.1237 billion in total revenue, representing 46% growth year-over-year. Do note, revenue totaled $767.405 million in Q3 of 2020.

Breaking down revenue by segment, Subscription Solutions revenue totaled $336.208 million, while Merchant Solutions revenue totaled $787.532 million, representing 37% and 51% revenue growth year-over-year.

According to management, Subscription Solution revenue was driven by an influx of merchants joining Shopify throughout the quarter, while Merchant Solutions revenue was motivated by GMV growth.

Rounding out revenue, monthly recurring revenue (MRR) increased by 33% year-over-year to a stronger $98.8 million. Do note, 28% of MRR in Q3 is comprised of Shopify Plus, representing $27.2 million in MRR, higher than the Q3 2020 level of 25%.

Shifting into gross merchandise volume (GMV), Shopify delivered $41.8 billion in GMV throughout Q3, representing a strong 35% increase year-on-year. Gross Payments Volume (GPV) also grew, expanding by 49% year-on-year to $20.5 billion.

Rotating into net income, Shopify delivered $1.1485 billion in Q3 net income, representing a significant improvement over the same time 2020 level of $191.1 million. On an adjusted basis, net income totaled $102.8 million, representing a decline from the same time 2020 level of $140.8 million.

Continuing along the lines of income, Shopify ran an operating loss, with a total operating loss of $4.1 million in Q3, representing a decline year-over-year when compared to the same time 2020 level of $50.6 million in operating income.

On the flip side, adjusted operating income totaled $140.162 million in Q3, representing an improvement over the same time 2020 level of $130.940 million. It is important to note that Q3 2021 adjusted operating income represented 12% of revenue compared to 17% in Q3 of 2020.

On the profit front, Shopify delivered $608.9 million in Q3 gross profit dollars, representing a 50% improvement year-over-year. Do note, Q3 2020 adjusted gross profit totaled $405.148 million. On an adjusted basis, gross profit dollars expanded by 49% year-over-year to $616.4 million.

Leadership was upbeat.

“Our results show that Shopify is executing well, giving our merchants the tools they need to compete in differentiated ways in a growing number of markets. We remain focused on simplifying commerce for our merchants so they can take full advantage of what digital makes possible and reimagine retail,” CFO Amy Shapero said.

Looking to the future management did not guide to specific targets but noted that revenues and gross profit dollars are expected to continue solid expansion into Q4 and that guidance continues to remain in line with leadership forecasts from February.

Although it is important to note that growth is not expected to match 2020 growth rates in specific segments, such as Subscription Solutions revenue, due to the accelerated growth via the worldwide pandemic.

Shifting into the balance sheet the numbers are solid. (Q2 2021 Data)

Total Debt: $910 Million

Total Liabilities: $1.835 Billion

Total Assets: $11.956 Billion

Cash & Short Term Inv: $7.755 Billion

On a valuation basis, Shopify does trade at a premium.

Price to Earnings: 54.68x

Forward Price to Earnings: 227.89x

Price to Sales: 43.18x

Price to Book: 16.13x

Price to Free Cash Flow: 396.83x

Management has been effective.

Return on Equity: 38.85%

Return on Assets: 32.48%

Return on Invested Capital: 34.04%

Given the numbers the analysts are bullish with a mean price target of $1,696/share, representing a 15.36% upside from the current price.

The high price target is $2,000/share, representing a 36.36% gain, while the low price target is $1,400/share, representing a -4.55% downside.

The big money is quite involved with 68.38% of Shopify being owned by institutions. Top holders include Baillie Gifford, Capital World Investors, and Jennison Associates.

On a technical basis, Shopify could be presenting an opportunity. According to the six-month charts, the MACD is indicating minimal upside momentum within a tight range around -3.94.

The six-month charts are also indicating an RSI of 55.69 and CCI of 82.09, both of which are trending upward.

Exploring investor sentiment the bears believe an elevated valuation, increasing competition, and supply chain disruptions are reasons to predict future downside.

Meanwhile, the bulls believe a growing e-commerce industry, a well-developed ecosystem of services, and a bevy of partnerships will bolster future upside.

In short, Shopify ( $SHOP ) is a solid e-commerce company boasting a reliable management team, a strong balance sheet, expanding revenues, a growing customer base, and an ever-accelerating e-commerce adoption at its back.


Disclaimer: This is not direct financial advice, simply an opinion based on independent research.

bottom of page