Financial Services

One online retailer is crushing Amazon this year

Amazon has long been dubbed Wall Street’s king of retail, but not this year.

Shares of online marketplace Etsy have soared 145 percent in 2018, nearly triple Amazon’s gains. Etsy stock soared 24 percent Wednesday following its quarterly earnings report. The company raised its annual revenue forecast after reporting it benefited from raising fees it charges the platform’s merchants.

Still, some strategists would advise sticking with Amazon over Etsy.

“When you compare Etsy’s $600 million in revenue compared to Amazon’s expected $200 billion-plus, these are definitely very different companies. I think we should look at them differently as well; Amazon Handmade is the competition to Etsy, so that’s where you would compare,” Stacey Gilbert, head of derivative strategy at Susquehanna, said Wednesday on CNBC’s “Trading Nation.”

Her firm’s internet analyst, Shyam Patil, covers Amazon with a positive rating and a $2,250 price target, around 30 percent upside from current levels. Patil likes Amazon’s long-term growth potential.

As for Etsy shares, Gilbert said the options market is not signaling that investors are “nervous” about where the stock is headed, but the options are pricing in a probability of roughly 25 percent that the stock could be “cut in half over the next year.”

“Investors who want to protect those recent gains could consider buying puts,” she said. “They are not expensive relative to history. We want to own Amazon; Etsy, for investors who have been fortunate to be involved, we think puts are attractive to protect here.”

On a technical basis, both stocks have been stellar outperformers, said Mark Newton, president of Newton Advisors. He would still look to buy pullbacks in Etsy because he likes its momentum, though for a near-term trade he would rather own Amazon.

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“If I had to buy anything for a three- to five-day period, I’d buy Amazon today, thinking that today’s move is good, but overall Etsy could very well grow faster in the months to come,” Newton said Wednesday on “Trading Nation.”

Etsy shares closed Wednesday at $50.01 per share, while Amazon closed at $1,755.49, a 7 percent gain.


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