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Why Wayfair Stock Sank 7% Today

Rich Smith, The Motley Fool

What happened

Shares of online e-tailer of furniture and home goods Wayfair (NYSE: W) sank more than 9% in early trading Thursday before clawing its way back to a 6.7% loss as of 3:25 p.m. EDT.

The declines appear to be tied to a press release Wayfair issued yesterday evening. Both the company's chief operating officer, James Savarese, and its chief technology officer, John Mulliken, "will retire from the company in 2019."

Man with a briefcase walking out a door marked by an exit sign

So what

The two executives both spent "more than a decade" with the company, and both are credited with "helping to drive Wayfair's rapid ascent from an e-commerce start-up to a global, Fortune 500 technology leader and consumer brand." Their simultaneous departure naturally shook investors' confidence in the stock -- Wayfair's protestations that it's already picked a new COO and an interim CTO notwithstanding.

The facts that Wayfair isn't a profitable company, and isn't expected to earn any profit before 2024 at the earliest, probably didn't help.

Now what

Nevertheless, Wayfair insisted that all is well: The executives' departures were part of "a planned transition." The new COO, Thomas Netzer, is the current COO of Wayfair's European operations -- where according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, Wayfair's sales have been growing even faster than here in the U.S. And he's supported by "strong teams [that] have well positioned Wayfair for continued success."

We'll get our next glimpse of how that's working out for Wayfair when the company reports Q2 2019 earnings on Aug. 1.


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Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Wayfair. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.