Shopify swings to surprise profit from year-earlier loss, sending its shares up 15%

Shopify swings to surprise profit from year-earlier loss, sending its shares up 15%


Shopify Inc. reported a profit of $771,000 US in its latest quarter Wednesday, compared with a loss of $1.5 million in the same quarter a year earlier, as its sales rose 47 per cent.

The company said the profit amounted to a penny per share for the three-month period ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of a penny for the last three months of 2018.

The Ottawa-based company, which provides technical services to online retailers and has been compared with Amazon, keeps its books in U.S. dollars. The results sent company shares up more than 15 per cent in early trading Wednesday.

“We’ve earned the trust of more than one million merchants, and we are motivated more than ever to keep lowering the learning curve so anyone, anywhere can become an entrepreneur,” Tobi Lütke, Shopify’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Sales for the fourth quarter were almost $505.2 million, up from $343.9 million a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast sales of $481.6 million.

Shopify says its adjusted net income for the fourth quarter amounted to $50.0 million, or 43 cents per share, compared with adjusted net income of $29.4 million, or 27 cents a share, for the fourth quarter of 2018. Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of 24 cents a share, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

In its outlook, Shopify says it expects first-quarter revenue between $440 million and $446 million. Full-year revenue is expected in a range of $2.13 billion to $2.16 billion.

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