Shopify Inc (US) (SHOP) Upside Risk Pushed Goldman Sachs to the Sidelines

Shopify Inc (US) (NYSE:SHOP) has a multiple that has surged forward 86% since Goldman Sachs analyst Jesse Hulsing first initiated a bullish note on the Canadian e-commerce platform, as the analyst believed Shop was on its way to being the go-to space for small and medium-sized business commerce.

However, the stock is no longer standing on Hulsing’s “Americas Buy List,” considering shares have shot up making SHOP a now “historically expensive” purchase, with “balanced” risk/reward. Therefore, the analyst downgrades from a Buy to a Neutral rating on shares of SHOP with a price target of $96, which represents a just under 11% increase from current levels.

Hulsing contends, “We continue to believe that SHOP is well positioned to become the dominant ecommerce enabler for the ‘long-tail’ of SMB merchants. However, at 9.1x EV/CY18E Sales and 16.1X EV/CY18E gross profit, SHOP is now among the most expensive software stocks ever […] and although we view a premium as warranted, we see the risk/reward as more balanced at current levels. While we see potential upside risk to consensus estimates (we are 7% above the Street in CY18), we also believe the magnitude of revisions is likely to become smaller. Additionally, upside is likely to become increasingly dependent on ‘non-core’ newer products and markets (Plus, Shipping/Capital); this dependence creates incremental risk, in our view. Downside risks include a levelling off of growth from newer products, macro risk (to which SHOP is uniquely exposed to due high churn and consumer spending exposure). As a result, we downgrade SHOP to Neutral.”

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, three-star analyst Jesse Hulsing is ranked #1,560 out of 4,578 analysts. Hulsing has a 43% success rate and garners 6.0% in his yearly returns. When recommending SHOP, Hulsing gains 100.2% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics show SHOP as a Buy. Based on 14 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 8 rate a Buy on Shopify stock while 6 maintain a Hold. The 12-month average price target stands at $90.45, marking a 3% upside from where the stock is currently trading.