Wayfair: Furniture Online?

06/06/2017 2:52 am EST

Focus: TECHNOLOGY

Michael Cintolo

Vice President of Investments and Chief Analyst, Cabot Heritage Corporation

Wayfair (W) is a furniture company that’s trying to move the industry out of its big-box-furniture-showroom past and into its online future. At least that’s the plan, asserts growth stock expert Mike Cintolo, editor of Cabot Top Ten Trader.

Wayfair has built an online catalog that includes over seven million products from 10,000 suppliers, including furniture, furnishings, home accessories and decorating items.

While the company has yet to produce a profitable quarter, it has been hugely successful at growing revenue, with the 44% growth in 2014 (the slowest in the last four years) followed by 71% growth in 2015 and 50% in 2016.

The company has been sacrificing earnings to build market share, and while earnings aren’t projected to turn positive until 2019, investors were encouraged by the company’s May 9 earnings report that beat expectations by a handy margin.

Analysts had expected a loss of 58 cents per share, but Wayfair reported a loss of 48 cents. That beat caused the company’s stock to gap up, and just led to an increased price target from one analyst.

New stories about Wayfair tend to emphasize the danger of competition from from Amazon (AMZN) or the opportunity represented by a potential Wal-Mart (WMT) takeover.

But the company’s management points to its increased traction and market share in the $600 billion North American and European furniture business.

It has proven that customers are willing to buy furniture and furnishings online, and that seems to be enough for investors, at least for now.

The stock came public in September 2014, and went through the usual post-IPO correction, eventually bottoming out in the low 30s in November 2016.

The stock firmed up at that point and was trading at $51 on the day before the great earnings report kicked it to $64 in one day. The stock has held those gains and is trading tightly under resistance at $65.

We think W is a reasonable speculative buy on any weakness of a point or so. The story is big, but it may take some patience. Use a stop at $58.

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