Why Wayfair Inc. Stock Popped Today

By Steve Symington Markets Fool.com


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What happened

Shares of Wayfair Inc. (NYSE: W) rose as much as 10.3% early Tuesday, and settled to trade up around 8% as of 3:30 p.m. EST, after the online home-furnishings retailer offered encouraging comments during an investor presentation.

So what

For perspective, Wayfair stock plunged in early November, after its solid third-quarter 2016 results were overshadowed by light revenue guidance for the crucial holiday quarter. At the time, CFO Mike Fleisher confirmed that average order values had declined modestly on a sequential basis in the third quarter, but he stated that given Wayfair's high rates of growth, it was difficult to know whether those declines were normal fluctuations in the metric, or indicative of "a modest impact ... of the same consumer pullback that others have reported."

When asked to comment on those trends this morning at the 19th Annual ICR Conference, Wayfair CEO Niraj Shah stated: "With the benefit of hindsight now in the fourth quarter, that five-day period was quite strong and the overall holiday period was quite strong. So I think, well, maybe there is some consumer uncertainty, but it wasn't really to any significant degree."

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Now what

As I pointed out just last week, Wayfair already confirmed in late November that it achieved its strongest-ever performance in the peak holiday shopping period, with direct retail gross sales growing 52% year over year during the five days from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. But now, investors are understandably pleased to hear Mr. Shah confirm that the company's concerns over consumer-spending headwinds were largely overblown. As a result, it's no surprise to see Wayfair shares climbing higher today.

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Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Wayfair. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.