Wayfair: Precarious At The High

Tulip Bubble

Tulip Bubble

Supply: Medium.com

Funding Thesis:

Wayfair (NYSE:W) on the present worth ranges represents a big danger for present shareholders. On-line gross sales are sturdy pushed by at residence procuring because of the CV-19 pandemic, nonetheless, shopper spending is precarious and partially dependent upon authorities stimulus whereas conventional brick and mortar opponents have grown considerably in e-commerce. Regardless of indicators of monetary weak point together with being famous by S&P as having vital chapter danger Wayfair has determined to make use of treasured capital infusions to primarily scale back fairness dilution relatively than bolstering its steadiness sheet. There are indications that we’re in a late market cycle and that Wayfair’s market valuation is overextended. Advocate that longs promote shares right here and new buyers keep away from buy, extra aggressive buyers might think about a brief place.

Inventory worth surges:

Wayfair’s ($W) inventory efficiency because the lows in March has been excellent. On March 19, 2020 it traded at slightly below $22 and now trades at virtually $345. $22,000 invested in Wayfair on March 19 could be value $345,000 at the moment.

$W Stock Chart

Supply: Picture from Inventory Quote Constancy.com

Robust Q2 2020 outcomes

Wayfair reported good Q2 numbers that have been accelerated by the massive progress in at-home procuring. This was a pure results of the closure of numerous bodily shops within the US and customers’ reluctance to buy in public as a consequence of fears of COVID-19. These tailwinds helped drive Wayfair outcomes to historic ranges. Wayfair posted optimistic GAAP earnings whereas gross sales grew a powerful 84% when in comparison with 2Q 2019. Importantly, Non-GAAP Free Money movement was $1.1 billion. The money movement numbers have been bolstered by will increase in Accounts Payable ($432m), Unearned income ($170m), and Fairness Primarily based Compensation ($71m).

$W Q2 Revenue Chart

Supply: Wayfair 2Q 2020 Investor Presentation

Indicators of a market prime:

This sturdy efficiency rivals that of another sturdy performers corresponding to Tesla ($TSLA), Overstock ($OSTK) and Carvana ($CVNA) to call a couple of. The present bull market seems to rival the 1999-2000 “Dot-Com” period in some vital elements. A priority for buyers in progress names is that they’ve been the important thing drivers of the general market restoration since March 2020 and thus could also be extra susceptible to a reversion to the imply. Listed here are some illustrative charts for example the purpose.

Growth Stocks Today vs 1999Supply: Bloomberg

Growth Stock Historical ChartSupply: BofA World Funding Technique, Datastream, Bloomberg

The so known as “Buffet Indicator” named after the well-known investor reveals that the overall inventory market is buying and selling at roughly 1.8x Gross Home Product which makes is taken into account extraordinarily costly and even past that of the 2000 Dot Com Interval.

Buffet IndicatorSupply: gurufocus

In abstract, by quite a few measures the inventory market and notably progress shares corresponding to Wayfair look like absolutely valued right here.

Fragile shopper pushed by fragile economic system

Present sturdy shopper buying developments look like constructed partially on sturdy authorities stimulus help. Shoppers are being aware of how and the place they spend their cash given the unsure financial backdrop.

Right here is quote from Wal-Mart CEO, Doug McMillion from the Q2 2020 earnings name following very sturdy quarterly outcomes that summarizes the significance of presidency stimulus to retail conduct.

As the advantages from stimulus waned in direction of the top of the quarter, we noticed our comp gross sales settle into a traditional vary.

Wayfair spoke concerning the uncertainty atmosphere throughout their 2Q 2020 earnings name as nicely here’s a quote from Michael Fleisher, CFO of Wayfair.

Now turning to steerage, I want I may say to you that we’re again to regular, and that we’re prepared to offer you comparatively correct ranges for what would possibly play out in Q3, however sadly, we acknowledge that there are too many unknowns on this atmosphere, notably within the U.S., which is by far our largest market. We confronted a vibrant demand backdrop in Q2, and we’ve got motive to consider that prospects who stay targeted on their houses within the back-half of the yr, however the unemployment image continues to be fairly tenuous, the aggressive panorama is very dynamic. Shoppers are justifiably nervous, and a few authorities help is expiring.

The warning of Wayfair and others is warranted contemplating adverse financial knowledge. Unemployment hovers at traditionally excessive ranges that rival the Nice Melancholy. Folks claiming unemployment is sort of 28 million.

Unemployment Chart

Supply: Bloomberg

On the identical time, financial institution lending for bank cards is tightening.

Credit Card Lending ChartSupply: Datastream

And shopper sentiment is declining.

UM Consumer Expectations ChartSupply: College of Michigan, 10 Yr Index of Shopper Expectations

Total these usually are not bullish indicators for sturdy discretionary spending by customers.

Robust competitors rising

Wayfair’s progress and outcomes have been spectacular, nonetheless, the pattern for e-commerce amongst main retailers corresponding to Walmart and Goal have been extraordinarily sturdy in 2Q 2020. Even retail laggard Mattress Bathtub and Past posted sturdy progress in e-commerce. These conventional brick and mortar retailers have the benefit of “omni-channel” (brick and mortar and e-tail choices) that Wayfair doesn’t. E-commerce rival Overstock additionally skilled strong progress.

Wal-Mart grew e-commerce gross sales within the US by 97% yr over which represents about $5 billion in new gross sales or $20bn annualized. Not all of those gross sales are for merchandise that compete immediately with Wayfair however furnishings and residential items are actually accessible on Walmart’s e-commerce web site.

Walmart e-commerce salesSupply: Walmart 2Q FY21 Presentation

Walmart e-commerce site

Supply: Walmart.com

Here’s a abstract of e-commerce progress reported by Wal-Mart, Goal, Overstock and Mattress Bathtub and Past on their most up-to-date earnings name.


e-commerce Development QoQ (from prior yr)





Walmart (US)




Mattress, Bathtub and Past


Supply: Creator’s chart from latest firm investor experiences

Mattress Bathtub and Past was the laggard however attention-grabbing to notice the expansion for the months of April and Could of 2020 was higher than 100%.

Bed Bath and Beyond e-Commerce

Supply: Mattress Bathtub and Past FY 2020 Q1 Investor Presentation

The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly pushed the expansion of e-commerce. Wayfair was certainly one of many beneficiaries and the elevated focus by conventional brick and mortar retailers might present a problem to future progress.

Monetary issues

An August 14, 2020 S&P World Market Intelligence report lists Wayfair as one of many public American retailers with a excessive danger of chapter. The report states there may be an 18.6% likelihood of chapter inside one yr and 24% inside two years. The implied S&P credit standing is CCC which is outlined as “presently susceptible and depending on favorable enterprise, monetary and financial circumstances to fulfill monetary commitments”.

S&P List of vulnerable retailersSupply: S&P World Market Intelligence

Latest bond providing and share repurchase are questionable

On August 12, 2020 Wayfair introduced a convertible bond providing for $1.32 billion with a face worth of 0.62% curiosity maturing on October 1, 2025. At first look this seems to be cheap financing. Wayfair had to make use of nearly all of the cash to repay present debt and the steadiness for hedging transactions to keep away from shareholder dilution in case the bond have been to turn out to be convertible.

Here’s a recap of the anticipated use of $1.305 billion acquired (internet of transaction prices).

Quantity (thousands and thousands USD)

Description of use of funds


Buy of $343.3m mixture principal 2022 Notes

$ 221.8

Buy of capped name transactions for brand new bond

$ 41.9

Est. Stability remaining

Supply: Creator’s calculation based mostly on Wayfair Press Launch

Subsequent to the convertible bond transaction on August 21, 2020 Wayfair introduced a brand new $700m share repurchase program.

Shareholders ought to usually be proud of a administration group that’s intent on avoiding dilution and retaining earnings on their behalf, nonetheless, the 2 transactions above don’t strengthen Wayfair’s steadiness sheet. Wayfair is hedging dilution and initiating share buyback program with the inventory buying and selling at all-time highs. This appears a poor use of capital given the extremely aggressive and unsure enterprise atmosphere.


Wayfair inventory worth has had an amazing run however indicators of a market prime just like the dot-com period are rising. The enterprise faces vital competitors from sturdy brick and mortar retailers and its monetary place has been known as into query. On the present elevated inventory worth, I like to recommend that longs take earnings or hedge potential declines. For the extra aggressive investor a brief place could also be thought of however I warning that it is vitally tough to know when momentum will flip and within the well-known phrases of John Maynard Keynes “Markets can keep irrational longer than you possibly can keep solvent.” Dimension any quick place accordingly.

Disclosure: I’m/we’re quick W. I wrote this text myself, and it expresses my very own opinions. I’m not receiving compensation for it (aside from from Searching for Alpha). I’ve no enterprise relationship with any firm whose inventory is talked about on this article.

Extra disclosure: Please do your personal analysis earlier than making any funding resolution. Opinion expressed is that of the creator solely.

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