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Stock Market News: Shopify Sails Higher as Fitbit Gets Hit

Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool

The stock market gained ground Thursday morning, quickly getting over its tantrum following Wednesday afternoon's rate cut from the Federal Reserve. Investors initially weren't happy with comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell suggesting that further rate cuts weren't as likely as previously thought. Yet today's move higher reflects confidence in the economy. As of just before 11 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) was up 187 points to 27,052. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) rose 21 points to 3,002, and the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX: ^IXIC) picked up 103 points to 8,278.

A lot of companies are announcing their latest financial results, and as you'd expect, some reports are good, while others leave something to be desired. Shopify (NYSE: SHOP) gave investors something to smile about in its second-quarter earnings, but Fitbit (NYSE: FIT) continued to struggle to find a pathway forward to sustained growth.

Shopify keeps its sales moving higher

Shares of Shopify rose almost 10% after the provider of e-commerce business tools reported continued strong growth in the second quarter of 2019. Shopify said that revenue for the quarter was higher by 48% from year-ago levels, and adjusted net income soared more than sixfold over the same period.

Shopify logo with green shopping bag icon with white S.

Shopify has worked hard to help entrepreneurs and others seeking an online presence for their businesses have the tools they need to succeed, and the company pointed to a lightning-fast pace of innovation. Early access to the Shopify Fulfillment Network should help clients cut their shipping costs, while the new Shopify Plus platform provides assistance in managing organizational business issues. Point-of-sale software and native language capabilities in 18 languages make Shopify a global e-commerce power, while the relatively new Shopify Capital division extends credit to help merchants have the financial liquidity they need to operate more effectively.

Shopify also has high hopes for the future. It raised its revenue guidance for the full year, expecting top-line growth of more than 40% in 2019.

E-commerce isn't going anywhere, and companies need access to make the most of their online opportunities. Shopify provides that access, and its latest results show no signs of slowing in sight.

Fitbit loses a step

Meanwhile, Fitbit's stock plunged 19%. The maker of wearable fitness devices didn't get the customer reception that it wanted for its Versa Lite product line, and that contributed to its decision to cut its outlook for the full year.

Fitbit's performance didn't look terrible in all respects. The company saw a 31% rise in number of devices sold in the second quarter of 2019, and that helped contribute to a 5% increase in revenue from year-ago levels. In particular, tracker devices saw a 56% jump in unit sales year over year.

However, Fitbit displayed weakness in several key areas. Smartwatch sales fell 7% in unit terms, and average selling price for products overall was down 19%.

The third quarter could be even tougher for Fitbit. The wearables specialist sees revenue declining 10% to 15% from year-ago levels, driven by falling average selling prices despite higher unit sales. Fitbit cut $95 million off its full-year sales projections, predicting a new range between $1.43 billion and $1.48 billion.

Wearables have been a big consumer phenomenon, and it's disappointing to see Fitbit have so much trouble capitalizing on an area it helped to pioneer. Until it finds a more successful strategy, however, Fitbit could keep delivering negative surprises to its shareholders.


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Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Fitbit and Shopify. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.