Why Carvana Co. Stock Gained 11.7% in November

What happened

Shares of Carvana (NYSE: CVNA) gained 11.7% in November, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The automotive e-commerce stock climbed early in the month thanks to strong earnings results and now trades up roughly 90% on the year.

CVNA data by YCharts

Carvana reported third-quarter results after the market closed on Nov. 7, having delivered another quarter of blockbuster sales growth. The company also launched retail operations in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on Nov. 7, and evidence of strong momentum at the business helped its stock post double-digit gains last month.

So what

Carvana operates an e-commerce platform that allows users to shop for cars using a range of search and selection criteria and then pick up their preferred vehicle at a local outlet, and its business has been recording tremendous growth. Sales climbed 137% year over year in the quarter containing September to reach $534.9 million and topped the average analyst estimate's target for $507 million in revenue. The results marked Carvana's 19th consecutive quarter of triple-digit year-over-year sales growth, and car deliveries in the quarter surpassed total annual deliveries in 2015 and 2016 combined.

The company's adjusted loss per share of $0.40 actually came in worse than the average analyst estimate's target for a per-share loss of $0.37, but evidence of momentum in the business mitigated the significance of the earnings miss. Gross profit climbed 181% year over year to come in at $51 million, and vehicles purchased directly from customers using the platform climbed 273% year over year -- reflecting increased engagement and suggesting the potential to build long-term business relationships with its users.

Now what

Carvana stock has sold off in December amid a pullback for the broader market that's been especially pronounced for growth-dependent technology stocks. Shares are down roughly 15.2% in the month as of this writing.

CVNA data by YCharts

Carvana still has a huge addressable market to tap into, and the company is guiding for strong growth to continue in the current quarter. Total unit sales are expected to come in between 27,500 and 30,000 -- good for 112.5% year-over-year growth at the midpoint. In line with that growth, management expects sales for the period to increase between 115% to 138% year over year, representing a target of roughly $600 million in revenue at the midpoint. Shares trade at roughly 2.6 times this year's expected sales.

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Keith Noonan has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.