Oct. 17, 2018, is a day that will live in infamy. OK … the legalization of marijuana in Canada isn’t anywhere near as important in the history of the world compared to Pearl Harbor, but it could turn out to be a turning point for Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) and Shopify stock.
Shopify’s Online Harvest
The provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island are using Shopify’s e-commerce platform for their cannabis websites.
This is especially important because Ontario won’t have a brick-and-mortar pot store open until April — the new Conservative government switched from a government-run retail system to a privately run system after it was elected in June setting back the store openings from fall to spring, and British Columbia will only have one physical location come Wednesday, and it’s not even in Vancouver.
Residents of two of Canada’s most populated provinces will have to buy online if they want to procure legal pot, which means Shopify’s platform will be on display for the entire world to see.
That’s a Good Thing
“These stores are going to get hit hard, and there’s going to be a lot of people browsing,” said Shopify Plus vice-president and general manager Loren Padelford. “If this is bigger than a Kylie Lip Kit drop, I think that’s going to surprise everybody.”
Kylie Jenner’s cosmetics business has become the subject of much media scrutiny after building her virtual business into an estimated $900 million in just three short years.
Jenner’s mom, Kris, put the e-commerce segment of her daughter’s business in the hands of Shopify in 2016, and it has been full speed ahead ever since.
“You could watch the buildup happen on the store as [the launch time] approached. To watch the internet focus down on one website was crazy,” Padelford told Forbes in July about Kylie Jenner’s success. “No other influencer has ever gotten to the volume or had the rabid fans and consistency that Kylie has had for the last two and a half years.”
So, for all those naysayers who think Shopify is nothing but a get-rich-quick scheme, Jenner’s success along with four provincial governments calling on the company to make sure this historic launch doesn’t hit a snag, suggests the company is all that and a bag of chips.
The Future Direction of Shopify Stock
Shopify stock was having a solid year until the summer hit, and it has been downhill ever since, losing almost 20% in the last three months alone.
Many investors felt the company’s valuation had gotten ahead of itself, and rightfully needed a bit of a correction. Of course, given the recent volatility of tech stocks in general, it’s probable the SHOP stock selloff was following the trend downward.
That said, InvestorPlace’s Vince Martin thinks it has more losses in store over the next few weeks suggesting potential Shopify stock investors should think carefully before jumping in.
“The market has become much more nervous. Whether it’s rising interest rates, trade fears, or just investors taking profits, the ‘everything moves higher’ trend seen since late 2016 is starting to fade,” Martin wrote Oct. 10. “And trading at 16 times its trailing revenue and 215 times its forward EPS, SHOP’s multiples have more room to decline.”
I don’t think Martin’s wrong on SHOP stock.
As I write this, Shopify stock is still up roughly 30% year-to-date, more than three times higher than the Nasdaq Composite Index. It could drop another 20% to $108 and still be up on the year.
Like Martin, I’m a long-term fan of Shopify and Shopify stock. I believe shareholders should continue to embrace the volatility, as Warren Buffett would, to buy more stock.
Assuming we don’t get a recession in 2019, I could see Shopify retesting $175 sometime in the next 12 months.
At $135, I see it as a lukewarm buy; below $110, it’s a screaming buy.
As of this writing Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.