Why is the Zip Co share price stumbling today?

Posted: 18 October 2021 12:22 pm

Shares in BNPL provider Zip Co are down by nearly a quarter over the last 6 months.

Buy-now-pay-later operator Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) is among the top traded shares on the ASX, but the stock has been extremely volatile on Monday. The shares jumped as high as 1.2% in early trading but then slipped and were down 1.3% to $6.76 at the time of writing.

Why is the Zip stock price in the spotlight today?

Zip Co on Monday provided a trading update for the September quarter and the numbers should have been reassuring to investors and analysts.

The second-largest BNPL operator on the ASX said revenue for the quarter jumped 89% from a year ago to $136.8 million, and was still up 8% over the prior quarter. Transaction volume also doubled from a year ago to $1.89 billion.

Zip said its customer numbers were up 10% from 3 months ago to 8 million, while the number of merchants using its platform lifted 8% to 55,200.

The core Australia and New Zealand operations delivered solid growth despite ongoing lockdowns, with revenue up 42% from a year ago to $64.5 million, and transaction volumes rising 48% to $916.9 million.

"Q2 has started strong led by the resurgence in-store, Zip’s ubiquitous payments technology and the lead up to the strongest seasonal quarter of the year with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas promotional sales in November and December," Zip's CEO Larry Diamond said in a statement to the ASX.

Global growth

The promising update comes at a time when the Australian BNPL player is engaged in a global push to tap new growth markets.

Just last month, Zip Co announced that it was entering the high potential Indian market after taking a minority stake in India-based BNPL operator ZestMoney for US$50 million.

In recent months, Zip has also expanded its international presence by lifting stakes in UAE-based Spotii Holdings and Europe-focused Twisto Payments to boost operations in Europe and the Middle East, among the fastest-growing global eCommerce regions.

It also officially launched in the United Kingdom in December, expanded operations into Canada in Q4 FY21, and is now live in Mexico.

Meanwhile, it also announced on Monday the rebranding of its QuadPay operations in the US, which has been its biggest acquisition to date and is delivering strong sales and transaction growth in the world’s biggest retail market.

While this may be great in the longer term and will make Zip a strong competitor to market leader Afterpay, analysts are worried about the near term rise in operating costs.

The company reported a nearly 8-fold surge in marketing costs at the time of its full year results in August, and that trend is expected to continue this year too, which will have an impact on its bottom line.

This has been the main overhang on Zip Co shares, which have lost nearly a quarter of their value in the last 6 months, despite the BNPL operator reporting pretty encouraging results.

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