Wayfair Is Having a Growth Spurt -- and It Shows

In this segment of the Motley Fool Money radio show, host Chris Hill, Million Dollar Portfolio's Jason Moser and Matt Argersinger, and Total Income's Ron Gross talk Wayfair (NYSE: W), the furniture and home furnishing e-tailer. Its margin is holding steady, and it's growing in all the right ways -- but it won't have it easy. The Fools lay out the bull case and the three bearish problems Wayfair faces.

A full transcript follows the video.

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This video was recorded on Nov. 3, 2017.

Chris Hill: Third quarter revenue for Wayfair grew nearly 40%, but shares of the online home goods retailer down this week. They're in growth mode, Jason, and the stock has had a great year. I'm just wondering if they're getting a little too frothy for some investors.

Jason Moser: Well, generally speaking, I think this business continues to do very well. You keyed in there on the revenue growth. I think all of the metrics that really matter are moving in the right direction. But there are three problems as I see it today. These guys are still not profitable, they're not cash flow positive, and they're not Amazon.

Ron Gross: [laughs] I like that.

Moser: If they were one of those three, the market would probably give them a little more credit. But, with that said, let's look at the bright side here, because I think there's a lot to unpack. Gross margin held the line vs. a year ago, which is important because the cost of goods includes that shipping and fulfillment, which is really what these guys have to spend so much on year in and year out. Again, percentage of orders from repeat customers continues to grow, it's now 61% versus around 56.5% a year ago. Again, I think it's a good business. It's going to take some time and some investment and some patience. But I think another encouraging sign is, they have Millennials really starting to enter that key demographic customer that they focus on, the 35-65-year-old home owner, or, it could be a renter, for that matter, as well. And I think that's going to resonate with a lot of these consumers that have been raised in this e-commerce age. So, there are a lot of tailwinds here. I think they're witnessing some success on the wedding registry front. All in all, it's a good business, I like what they're doing, I would not bet against these guys. I think they have a great perspective in trying to build out something that lasts.

Hill: Have they given any guidance on when they think they will be profitable? Or, do you as an analyst have any expectation of, it's got to be by this point in time or they're really going to be in trouble?

Moser: I think they're going to continue to string this along as long as the market will let it. It sold off after earnings, it recovered a little bit the next day. I think the market still gives these guys a lot of credit, because the bottom line is, those sales numbers, the customers that are ordering, that all tells the tale. This is a business that's growing, a lot of people are using the platform.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Chris Hill owns shares of Amazon. Jason Moser has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Ron Gross owns shares of Amazon. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon and Wayfair. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.