Citi cuts Vipshop price target to $20, maintains buy rating

EditorBrando Bricchi
Published 05/22/2024, 04:34 PM
VIPS
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On Wednesday, Citi updated its outlook on Vipshop Holdings (NYSE:VIPS), a leading online discount retailer for brands in China, by reducing the price target to $20 from the previous $25, while still holding a Buy rating on the company's shares. The adjustment follows Vipshop's first-quarter earnings for 2024, which presented a mix of modest revenue growth and a significant increase in non-GAAP net profit. The company's revenue rose slightly by 0.4% year-over-year to Rmb27.6 billion, and non-GAAP net profit grew by 24.8% to Rmb2.58 billion. These figures fell short of consensus estimates by 0.9% and exceeded by 15%, respectively.

Vipshop's performance this quarter was influenced by a 1.4% year-over-year decrease in average active customers and a 3.2% drop in total order numbers. The company attributed the decline to subdued sales in March, impacted by unfavorable weather conditions that dampened the demand for spring clothing. Despite this, the company saw an 11% growth in spending from its SuperVIP members.

Looking ahead to the second quarter of 2024, Vipshop has provided guidance that is below market expectations, projecting a year-over-year decrease of up to 5% or potentially flat growth. The company cited several factors for this outlook, including a limited season for spring apparel, a high comparison base from the previous year, the loss of less loyal customers, and a higher rate of product returns.

The competitive landscape has also posed challenges for Vipshop, as major e-commerce platforms have increased their investments and spending to attract customers through aggressive low-price strategies supported by heavy subsidies. Vipshop, however, has chosen not to participate in this price war, focusing instead on maintaining its profitability. This strategic decision is expected to result in a continuation of subdued guidance throughout the second half of 2024.

Citi's revised price target is based on an 8 times multiple of the revised 2025 earnings per share estimate of $2.50, down from the previous 9 times multiple. Despite the lowered target price, Citi maintains a Buy rating for Vipshop, citing the stock's undemanding valuation and the support from the company's share buyback program.

InvestingPro Insights

Amid the challenges outlined in the article, Vipshop Holdings (NYSE:VIPS) demonstrates several strengths that may appeal to investors looking for value. According to InvestingPro data, Vipshop has a market capitalization of $8.92 billion and is trading at a compelling P/E ratio of 7.98, suggesting that the stock might be undervalued relative to its earnings. This is further supported by the company's PEG ratio for the last twelve months as of Q4 2023, which stands at a low 0.17, indicating potential for earnings growth compared to its P/E ratio. Additionally, Vipshop's revenue growth of 9.41% over the same period underscores a steady increase in sales.

Investors may also take note of the InvestingPro Tips highlighting Vipshop's financial prudence and market position. Management's aggressive share buyback initiative and the company's strong cash position, with more cash than debt on the balance sheet, are indicative of a proactive approach to capital management. Moreover, Vipshop's status as a prominent player in the Broadline Retail industry, combined with a low revenue valuation multiple, may offer a margin of safety for investors. For those interested in exploring these aspects further, InvestingPro provides an additional 11 tips on Vipshop, which can be accessed by using the coupon code PRONEWS24 for an additional 10% off a yearly or biyearly Pro and Pro+ subscription.

While the near-term outlook may appear cautious, the underlying metrics and strategic decisions could position Vipshop for a favorable long-term trajectory. Investors are encouraged to consider these insights along with the broader market context when assessing the company's investment potential.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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