Analyst Sees Promise in Outperforming Shopify Stock

A solid earnings showing next week could spook SHOP shorts

by Emma Duncan

Published on Apr 23, 2019 at 9:22 AM

Shopify Inc (NYSE:SHOP) scored a price-target raise to $240 from $210 at CIBC, with the brokerage firm maintaining its "outperform" rating ahead of earnings next Tuesday, April 30. CIBC said it was impressed by Shopify's improving trends in international markets and around its Plus e-commerce product, as well as its positive earnings history since its May 2015 public trading debut. In response, SHOP shares are up 0.7% at $225.80 in pre-market trading, and could soon take out yesterday's record high of $225.99.

On the charts, Shopify stock has been climbing since its Dec. 24 bottom. Specifically, as of last night's close, the e-commerce name had added over 90% since that low, supported by its 20-day moving average. 

Despite SHOP's surge in 2019, the there's still room for more analyst love. In fact, eight of 21 brokerage firms maintain "hold" or worse opinions, leaving the door open for potential upgrades. In addition, today's price-target hike may have been well overdue, as SHOP's average 12-month price target of $190 comes in at a 15.3% deficit to current trading levels.

Lastly, short interest on SHOP has surged in recent weeks, growing 37.8% during the two most recent reporting periods. Short interest now accounts for over 8% of the stock's total available float, and at the equity's average pace of daily trading, it would take shorts nearly six days to buy back their bearish bets. That's plenty of fuel for a short squeeze, should the company report solid earnings next week.

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