Oppenheimer Downgrades Zulily Inc Following Disappointing 1Q Results

A research note was released today by Oppenheimer analyst Jason Helfstein, after Zulily Inc (NASDAQ:ZU) released it’s first quarter earnings report yesterday. The analyst not only downgraded the stock from an Outperform to a Perform rating, but he also removed the price target entirely. Helfstein shared his negative expectations by noting how the company’s plan to reduce spending on marketing will perversely effect its overall success. Shares of Zulily are currently trading at $9.62, down $2.20, or -18.61%.

Helfstein observed, ” While ZU’s initiatives to speed up delivery times are progressing, the company now plans to slow marketing spending– pending changes to the site experience–as management tries to reduce churn and increase order values among newer customers. As a result, management reduced FY15 revenue guidance by 14%.”

Furthermore, “While we see value in ZU’s brand, its niche among “Moms” and its relative success with flash sales, there is too much risk to near-term guidance, given the continued downward revision to forecasts. As a result, we see the shares range-bound at 15-20x ’15EBITDA, to $9-11.”

According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Jason Helfstein has a total average return of 7.6% and a 53.4% success rate. Helfstein has a -9.0% average return when recommending ZU, and is ranked #446 out of 3590 analysts.

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