Shopify Inc. reported $1.73 billion in revenue for its fiscal fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2022. That’s a 26% jump from a year earlier, a sign the ecommerce platform provider is succeeding in its turnaround efforts.
Gross merchandise volume, the value of merchant sales flowing through Shopify’s platform, rose 13% from a year earlier to $61 billion compared with a year earlier. The Ottawa-based company said Black Friday sales rose 19% last year from 2021 to a record $7.5 billion.
Shopify provides software and other services that underpin the websites of many small businesses. It grew dramatically during the early stages of the pandemic, with sales rising 86% in 2020.
Shopify revenue rises after job cuts
Shopify was among the first technology giants to slash its workforce during last year’s market rout. Now, some investors say its stock is poised to outperform peers over the course of 2023 as those job cuts translate into lower costs, narrower losses and better cash flow.
The Canadian ecommerce firm shocked the industry when it cut 1,000 jobs in July. The move sent its stock plummeting 14% in a day as CEO Tobi Lutke said the company needs to lower expenses after an aggressive pandemic expansion plan. The move preceded waves of layoffs across the tech sector, including at Amazon.com Inc. and software maker Microsoft Corp.
“We are pretty excited about the cost actions’ impact on this year,” Ivana Delevska, chief investment officer at Spear Invest, said prior to the earnings release.
Since the job cuts, Shopify has announced new partnerships, a flurry of updates for customers and a significantly higher pricing plan.
Shopify’s bounce comes after an outsized drop — even in the tech sector. The Ottawa-based company started 2022 as the most valuable in Canada, with a market value of C$217.8 billion and a 6% weighting in the S&P/TSX Composite Index, before a near record slide.
Its performance last year was so dismal that it almost singlehandedly dragged the country’s main index into the red and affected the value of the pension holdings of every person working in Canada because the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec are both shareholders.
Shopify 2023 outlook
Shopify said it expects revenue growth in the “high teen percentages” for the rest of 2023. That’s slightly below analysts’ current forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of 20% revenue growth year-over-year.
That outlook “suggests a slowdown in transaction volume,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Anurag Rana said in a note. “Given that the outlook includes pricing changes that took place on Jan. 24, it appears that management is assuming a deceleration in economic activity.”
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