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Why Revolve Group Crushed Q3 Earnings

Revolve Group (NYSE: RVLV), the influencer-driven e-commerce apparel company, has been a big winner this year and the company's third-quarter earnings report shows why. Revenue soared 62% and it should benefit from the reopening trends as more people feel comfortable going to parties, music festivals, and other live events for which they want to buy an outfit.

In this episode of "Beat and Raise" recorded on Nov. 4, Fool contributors Jeremy Bowman and Jason Hall discuss Revovle's third-quarter results and what to look for.

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Jeremy Bowman: Revolve Group, for those who don't know, is an e-commerce apparel company. Let me hit present. They use influencers on Instagram and social media as well as live events to promote the brand and the products. They are targeting millennials and Gen-Z. The company has two brands. Revolve makes up the vast majority of the sales. They tend to sell things that at a high-price-point, think $200 dresses. The company is also focused on occasionwear, the stuff you'd wear to weddings, concert festivals, parties, stuff like that. Then Forward, which is luxury brands like Versace, Balenciaga, that sort of thing.

Q3 results' were pretty great. Revenue was up 62 percent or 58 percent from third quarter of 2019 to $244.1 million. That easily cleared the bar to 14.7 million. Like I said with the New York Times, this is another company that scaled back marketing during the pandemic and not a lot of people were buying that, going to events and that sort of thing, but they scaled it back up in the third quarter by a pretty healthy margin there. 150 percent to $47 million was the marketing. That was the biggest expense line item. As a result of that, earnings-per-share actually fell from 27 cents to 22 cents. That's still better than than the 13 cents they had two years ago and also beat analyst estimates at 14 cents, so the company had forecast, or told the market that that's what they were planning to do.

Guidance-they didn't give specific numbers, but in the earnings call they said strong top-line trends continued into October, so think 60 percent revenue growth, more of that, but the company believes that holiday season you see a lot of promotional activity from competitors, so they see top-line growth slowing down. They also raised their full-year gross margin forecast to 54.5 percent from 54 percent and the stock finished up by 1.7 percent today. Their report was last night or was yesterday.

Looking ahead, they IPO'd in 2019, so you get first-year was rough, but they've really done well since the bottom of the pandemic then. This is a stock that I own. I like it. I think they've got a lot of tailwinds coming from the reopening of live events, celebrations, travel, international travel is opening to the U.S I think next week. They just announced that Kendall Jenner, who is the Kardashian member/current supermodel, will be the creative director for Forward. She has a huge social media following, so I think that's a good mix for the company, a good fit. I like the stock a lot because I think it's rare to find a good mix of growth and profitability, but that's what they are doing. Their gross margins, which are in the 55 percent range, are really outstanding for a retailer, especially a direct seller online. I like that a lot too, which gives them more money to spend on marketing and growing the brand. I like the stock.

Jason Hall: I think the key's here. It's you think about those trends, the reopening. The big thing is events, more events happening, and I think also the international travel to the US and yeah, that's next week. That could be a real positive for these businesses. The hard part, of course, I think it's worth mentioning, when you're in fashion, you have to lead the trends because if you miss the moment, those great margins get smashed when you have to discount your items to sell, but it does seem like they're certainly positioning themselves to remain a leader in fashion.

Jeremy Bowman: Yeah. That's a good point about fashion. You do see sometimes with these companies, they're great one year, and then they're not so hot the next. They miss on style or something, but I think Revolve has a good model and I like what they're doing as far as the influencer-based marketing and especially with the high price points. I think that should help keep their margins pretty safe.

Jason Hall has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Jeremy Bowman owns shares of Revolve Group Inc. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Revolve Group Inc and The New York Times. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: short January 2022 $55 calls on The New York Times. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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