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Shopify hits record high on better-than-expected 2020 sales forecast

(Reuters) – Canadian e-commerce company Shopify Inc’s <SHOP.TO> <SHOP.N> full-year revenue forecast above analysts’ estimates and better-than-expected quarterly earnings on higher holiday sales, pushed its shares to a record high on Wednesday.

Last year, the company set aside over $1 billion to strengthen its delivery network in its biggest market, the United States, which is dominated by bigger rivals Amazon.com Inc <AMZN.O> and eBay Inc <EBAY.O>.

Shopify has been investing in warehouse technologies such as machine-learning and robotics and in October, bought warehouse technology provider 6 River Systems for about $450 million.

The company is trying to be more than just an e-commerce platform, Wedbush analyst Ygal Arounian said, adding that it is aiming to offer warehouse robotics, easy delivery through fulfillment centers, and everything else that merchants need to succeed.

Gross merchandise volume (GMV), a metric used in the e-commerce sector to measure transaction volumes, rose 47% to $20.6 billion in the fourth quarter, edging past estimates of $20.03 billion.

The coronavirus outbreak did not have a material impact on Shopify’s GMV, Chief Financial Officer Amy Shapero said in a post-earnings call.

The company would invest and focus more on expanding outside the U.S. and Canada, Shapero said .

It forecast 2020 revenue in the range of $2.13 billion to $2.16 billion, above the average analyst estimate of $2.11 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Ottawa-based Shopify posted net income of $771,000, or 1 cent per share, for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with net loss of $1.5 million, or 1 cent per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, it earned 43 cents per share, easily beating the average estimate of 23 cents per share.

Total revenue jumped 47% to $505.2 million and beat estimates of $482.5 million. The company reported worldwide sales of over $2.9 billion between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, up about 61% from the same period in 2018.

U.S.-listed shares of the company were up nearly 18% at $580 in morning trade.

(Reporting by Ambhini Aishwarya in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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