April 5, 2019 / 2:25 PM / 3 months ago

BUZZ-Shopify: 5-star Baird analyst says will take years for competition to catch up

** U.S.-listed shares of Shopify up 1% to $196.76 after Baird hikes its PT to $208, saying Canadian e-commerce software maker’s competitive position “remains strong”

** Analyst Colin Sebastian, who garners 5-stars from Refinitiv StarMine for his coverage on SHOP, sticks with “outperform”

** Says latest checks suggest SHOP continues to consolidate share, despite increasing competition from likes of Adobe , Facebook/Instagram, Microsoft, Salesforce.com and Square

** Says Shopify’s platform required >$1 bln in R&D and marketing investment just over past 4 yrs, and believes “it will take years and significant investment for others to catch up.”

** While not in “pound the table” territory, he recommends investors opportunistically add/build to positions on pullbacks

** SHOP fell ~5% on Thurs after short-seller Citron said stock would plunge to $100 within a yr, pointing to competition dampening co’s growth outlook

** 19 of 27 analysts covering SHOP rate stock “buy” or stronger, 7 are neutral and 1 rates “sell”; median PT is $200, per Refinitiv data

** SHOP.N shares are up ~42% this year, while Toronto-listed shares have gained 39%

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