Shopify (NASDAQ:SHOP) is headed to the earnings confessional again next week. The company’s quarterly reports have been contentious this year, with Shopify’s outsized growth squaring off against even more outsized expectations. The result has been a rocky road higher for SHOP stock and a lot of uncertainty for investors.
By the numbers, Shopify is expected to post a second-quarter loss of 3 cents per share, down from a loss of just a penny per share last year. Revenue, however, is expected to rise roughly 55% to $234.64 million. That may look like some rather impressive growth, but growth has slowed sequentially over the past three quarters — 72% in 3Q 2017, 71% in 4Q 2017 and 68% in 1Q 2018.
It’s that slowing revenue growth that has investors worried. But a summer slowdown is in the cards for retailers. Guidance will likely be the key for the company heading into the second half of the year. What’s more, Shopify has many rather successful brands in its stables, including Red Bull, Nestle, Rebecca Minkoff and Kylie Cosmetics.
The Canadian firm is even taking a leading role in online cannabis distribution. Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC) and Hydropothecary currently sell medical marijuana on Shopify. Aurora Cannabis Inc. (OTCMKTS:ACBFF), too, just signed a commercial deal to distribute both medical and recreational cannabis globally via Shopify as of Oct. 17 (when marijuana officially becomes legal in Canada).
That’s some significant growth potential for Shopify. It’s also why 18 of the 29 analysts following SHOP stock rate the shares a “buy” or better. That said, there are still 11 holdouts that could upgrade the shares following SHOP earnings.
Furthermore, there is still a considerable contingent of SHOP short sellers. As of the most recent reporting period, some 11.6% of Shopify’s total float remains sold short. If the stock can break out above near-term resistance at $175, we could see these shorts get squeezed, and SHOP stock jump higher as a result.
In the options pits, SHOP stock bears are firmly in control. Specifically, the August put/call open interest ratio comes in at 3.21, with puts more than tripling calls among front-month options. That’s quite a bearish contingent, especially with peak put OI resting at the deep out-of-the-money August $130 strike.
Overall, August implieds are pricing in a potential move of about 10.6% for SHOP stock. As a result, the upper bound lies near $188 and the lower bound at $152.
2 Trades for SHOP Stock
Call Spread: Traders looking to bet bullishly on Shopify stock might want to consider an Aug $175/$180 bull call spread. At last check, this spread was offered at $1.76, or $176 per pair of contracts. Breakeven lies at $176.76, while a maximum profit of $3.24, or $324 per pair of contracts, is possible if SHOP stock closes at or above $180 when August options expire.
Put Sell: If you’re looking for a more conservative trade, then an Aug $150 put sell might be a way to capitalize on technical support. At last check, this put was bid at $2.90, or $290 per contract. As always, you keep the premium received as long as Shopify stock closes above $150 when August options expire. The downside is that, should SHOP stock trade below $150 ahead of expiration, you could be assigned 100 shares for each sold put at a cost of $150 per share.
As of this writing, Joseph Hargett did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.