Shares of Shopify (NYSE: SHOP) have been rallying in recent days, and at least one Wall Street pro sees the fast-growing e-commerce solutions provider heading even higher. Darren Aftahi at Roth Capital is raising his price target on the stock from $119 to $127.
Aftahi's goal isn't the market's loftiest forecast. Gus Papageorgiou at Macquarie slapped a $146 price target on Shopify stock two months ago, encouraged by the dot-com darling's "virtually unassailable" competitive position. However, Aftahi's move represents the most ambitious upward revision on Shopify since the company's stock took a hit after posting poorly received financial results on Halloween. Aftahi's new price represents 17% of upside from Monday's close, and it would also be a new all-time high.
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Shopping for higher prices
Roth Capital's Aftahi feels that international opportunities, as well as new merchant solutions including the Instagram shopping tool it introduced last month, should keep driving results higher. Shopify has been one of this year's hottest stocks, soaring 153% so far in 2017, but Aftahi feels that we're still in the early innings here as Shopify ramps up its platform.
It hasn't been a smooth ride up for investors. The stock took a hit last month after the hard-hitting worrywarts at Citron Research called Shopify's model and valuation into question. Citron's skewering treatise claims that Shopify's promotional language for its referral network may run afoul of Federal Trade Commission guidelines, and that its merchant count is inflated. Shopify refuted those knocks.
The market's unappetizing reaction to its third-quarter results three weeks ago also hasn't helped. It was another period of growth for Shopify as revenue soared 72% and gross-merchandise volume -- clocking in at $6.4 billion for the three-month period -- was 69% ahead of where it was a year earlier. It was Shopify's lukewarm guidance for the fourth quarter and comments about prioritizing growth over profitability that weighed on the market's reaction to the otherwise strong report.
Shopify stock was already starting to bounce back ahead of Tuesday's positive analyst note. The stock is on a pace to move higher for the fourth consecutive trading day. We're still not at the point when the shares peaked two months ago -- just as Macquarie's Papageorgiou was boosting his price target from $121 to $146 -- but the market seems to be turning its attention to Shopify's potential during the potent holiday shopping season.
October was rough for Shopify investors, but the stock seems to be regaining its 2017 winning ways in November.
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