This was the first time the Brooklyn-based company reported earnings after its initial public offering last month, and while losses were expected, Etsy's particularly disappointing numbers sent its shares plummeting.
Etsy, which provides a platform for sellers to vend homemade goods, reported quarterly revenue of $58.5 million, up 44% over 2014, but with a net loss of $36.6 million, or 84 cents a share, compared to a loss of $500,000 in the first quarter of 2014. This fell short of analyst expectations of $59 million in revenue and earnings of 3 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters.
Etsy was also recently hit by accusations of counterfeit problems. CEO and Chairman Chad Dickerson touched on the issue, questioning the definition of counterfeit and ensuring that Etsy has measures in place to counter such activity. Wedbush analyst Gil Luria, who first brought the charges, was not assuaged.
Shares were trading down more than 23% to $16 just after the market opened on Wednesday -- that's nearly a 50% drop since Etsy closed its first day of trading at $30.
"Our recent IPO is a milestone in our mission to reimagine commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world," said Dickerson. "We will continue to concentrate on creating long-term value for Etsy and our community, which we believe will result in sustainable long-term returns for our investors."
Here are the three key takeaways from Etsy's first-quarter earnings report.
1. Growth in Sellers and Buyers
Gross merchandise sales, or GMS, increased 28% year over year to $531.9 million, largely due to a 26% increase in active sellers and a 36.5% increase in active buyers. An active buyer is defined as an Etsy buyer that has made at least one purchase in the last 12 months, and an active seller is someone who has incurred at least one charge (transaction fee, listing fee, etc.) from Etsy in the last 12 months.
As of the end of the first quarter, Etsy had attracted more than 1.4 million active sellers and 20.8 million active buyers. However, these buyers aren't necessarily spending as much, as GMS per active buyer declined 8% year over year. However, GMS per active seller did grow 2% year over year.
While GMS still grew, it didn't grow as much as expected -- GMS grew 39% year-over-year in the fourth quarter.
That "is likely to put the 'addressable market question' on the front burner and impact Etsy's near-term trading multiple," according to Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak.
Nowak and Etsy both mentioned that the strong dollar played a role in this slowdown, but there is "no denying growth is slowing faster than we believe investors expected," Nowak said. Even though international GMS accounted for 30.5% of overall GMS, international GMS growth slowed down 22%.
Nonetheless, any growth at all can be viewed as a positive, according to Manhattan Venture Partners chief economist Max Wolff.
"The good news is even if there was a deceleration, they grew what matters most -- revenue, sellers, and buyers," Wolff said. "They kept their community and they grew it, not a ton, but they grew it. Going public and being a little bit less of a community, a little less of an alternative commerce universe and more of a public company doesn't seem to have created as much drop-off as had been feared."