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Why Qurate Retail Stock Was Climbing Today

What happened

Shares of Qurate Retail Group (NASDAQ: QRTEA) jumped today after the parent of QVC, HSN, and Zulily posted better-than-expected results in its first-quarter earnings report, beating expectations on the top and bottom lines.

Qurate's stock finished the day up 15.9%.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Revenue in the quarter was up 14% to $3.34 billion, beating estimates of $3.14 billion, and growth was solid across its business lines with QxH -- the combination of QVC and HSN -- up 8% to $1.94 billion. QVC International revenue was up 22% to $774 million; Zulily revenue rose 19% to $377 million; and Cornerstone sales jumped 41% to $250 million.

E-commerce revenue was up 19% to $2.1 billion, a reflection of the company's progress in its transition from TV-based shopping to online.

Profitability also ramped up as adjusted EBITDA increased 35% to $517 million, and adjusted earnings per share jumped from $0.27 to $0.48, topping the analyst consensus of $0.33.

CEO Mike George said:

We generated outstanding results across all our businesses and markets. Our performance demonstrates the competitive advantage of our business model. We operate at the inflection point of accelerated online shopping, wide adoption of video streaming, and growing consumer engagement on digital platforms.

Now what

Qurate did not provide guidance in the earnings report, but the company is clearly building momentum in its pivot to digital commerce, which includes new channels like streaming and social commerce.

The company will face tougher comparisons as traffic at brick-and-mortar stores begins to bounce back, but shares look dirt cheap right now, trading at a price-to-earnings ratio of just 4.3 based on its last four quarters.

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