Why Shopify Stock Jumped 15% in March

By Daniel Sparks Markets Fool.com

What happened

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Despite the S&P 500's flat finish to March, Shopify (NYSE: SHOP) stock soared 15% during the month, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

So what

While Shopify didn't announce anything major during March, the stock's overall rise likely reflects ongoing bullishness as investors and analysts digest the implications of the company's exceptional fourth quarter, as well as Shopify's overall massive growth last year.

Image source: Shopify.

In Shopify's fourth quarter, which was reported on Feb. 15, the company reported revenue of $130.4 million, up 86% year over year and well above a consensus analyst estimate for revenue of $121.6 million. One analyst from BTIG subsequently raised their price target for Shopify from $65 to $75 during March, likely driving some of the stock's increase during the month. BTIG analyst Abhinav Kapur said (via Benzinga) he believes Shopify is only in the early stages of its growth.

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Shopify is trading at about $68 at the time of this writing, up about 58% this year.

Now what

There's no doubt that Shopify is well positioned at the center of a key growth opportunity. As Shopify CFO Russ Jones articulated in the most recent quarterly earnings report, its 90% and 99% growth in revenue and gross merchandise volume, respectively, in 2016 "speaks to the enormous opportunity retail right now and our strategic position within it."

But with Shopify's stock trading so much higher recently, investors will want to ensure Shopify delivers on the market's high growth expectations. If the company's growth decelerates faster than expected, investors may want to reevaluate the stock's lofty valuation.

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Daniel Sparks has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Shopify. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.