(Bloomberg)—Shopify Inc.’s halo is fading, with an earnings report that showed two metrics key to measuring growth growth are slowing down.
The Canadian e-commerce company’s stock sank the most in six months Tuesday, despite beating estimates for first-quarter revenue, profit and full-year revenue. Gross merchant volume, the total amount of goods sold on all Shopify-run sites, grew 64% from a year earlier, compared with an 81% increase in the same quarter last year. That metric has become a key number investors zero in on.
Investors also are looking to see how much of Shopify’s revenue comes from larger, more stable merchants rather than lower-paying and more precarious ones. Growth in monthly recurring revenue, a metric that tracks the number of users and the average amount they’re paying, is also slowing down. It increased 57% to $32.5 million compared with growth of 62% in the same period last year.
Shopify, No. 6 in the 2018 Guide to E-commerce Platforms, has 22 merchant clients in the Internet Retailer Top 1000. BigCommerce—one of Shopify’s top competitors—ranks No. 5 with 25 merchant clients in the Top 1000.
Investors who used to push up the stock after consistent quarterly revenue growth are now diving deeper to look at what kind of users are driving expansion. The shares fell as much as 10%, the most since October, to $119.61.
The shares had gained 32% so far this year at the close on Monday, rebounding after Left’s Citron Research released a report last year that called Shopify a “ get-rich-quick” scheme that took 12% of the shares in a single day. The shares soon recovered after CEO Tobi Lutke called Left a “troll” and dismissed his accusations.
Despite the concern over future growth, Shopify beat quarterly estimates on most metrics. Revenue was $214.3 million in the three months ended March 31, versus the average analyst estimate of $202.4 million. The Ottawa-based company reported a profit of 4 cents a share, far outstripping the average projection for a loss of 5 cents.Favorite