Shopify shares at record high as online boom attracts more merchants

(Reuters) - Shopify Inc SHOP.TO shares hit a record high on Wednesday after the Canadian company smashed quarterly revenue estimates, as the coronavirus-driven online shopping surge encouraged more brick-and-mortar businesses to list on its e-commerce platform.

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The Toronto-listed shares of Canada’s most valuable company hit a record high of about C$1,473, while the U.S. shares touched $1,104. They have both surged more than 170% this year.

Online retailers have emerged as winners from coronavirus lockdowns and retain their appeal as people prefer to shop from their homes instead of making a trip to stores due to a resurgence in infections.

Shopify reported a 71% jump in what it calls “new stores” on its platform in the second quarter from the prior quarter.

More brands joined the platform this quarter than ever as merchants from lower-level plans increased their sales and upgraded and large brands sought to scale up their businesses, Chief Operating Officer Harley Finkelstein said.

In June, Walmart Inc WMT.N, the world's biggest brick-and-mortar retailer, partnered with Shopify to boost its efforts to capture a bigger slice of the online sales surge.

Shopify’s gross merchandise volume more than doubled to $30.1 billion in the quarter, the highest since its IPO in 2015, largely helped by food, beverages, and tobacco categories. That easily beat expectations of $18.45 billion.

Graphic: Shopify posts highest quarterly GMV since IPO Shopify posts highest quarterly GMV since IPO -

Revenue nearly doubled to $714.3 million, beating estimate of $513.83 million, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Shopify generates revenue by selling subscription to merchants looking to join its platform and by charging them payment processing and transaction fees, as well as for logistics services.

The company posted a net income of $36 million, or 29 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $28.7 million, or 26 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company’s earnings of $1.05 per share beat estimates of 1 cent.

Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Sriraj Kalluvila