Canada’s Shopify e-commerce platform reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings on Thursday but its revenue grew at the slowest pace since it went public in 2015.
Total revenue in the fourth quarter was $222.8 million, a 71% increase from the year-ago period. But revenue grew more than 90% in Shopify’s first year as a public company and, as Reuters reports, has been on a steady retreat since the second quarter of 2016.
“Shopify, whose software enables merchants to sell everything from infant formula to cosmetics online, has been on a tear ever since its launch, riding on a surge in online and mobile retailing,” Reuters said.
Excluding non-recurring items, Shopify’s adjusted earnings per share came to 15 cents, beating the FactSet consensus analysts’ estimate of 5 cents. Analysts had expected revenue of $209.7 million.
The revenue slowdown triggered a 5% drop in Shopify’s share price on but the stock was trading at $136.96, down only 0.4%, later in the day.
The company stressed that merchants using Shopify’s platform had their biggest holiday season yet, with the four-day Black Friday to Cyber Monday weekend accounting for $1 billion of gross merchandise volume with a peak of $1 million of orders processed per minute.
“That our merchants sold more in the fourth quarter than in all of 2015, achieving one billion dollars of this in just four days, speaks to how far we have come in the past few years,” CFO Russ Jones said in a news release.
Subscription solutions revenue grew 67% to $93.9 million in the quarter, driven by a 62% increase in monthly recurring revenue. Merchant solutions revenue grew 74% to $128.9 million, reflecting the growth in gross merchandise volume.
Shopify has yet to achieve a net profit as it pursues a strategy of spending heavily to boost its market share in the highly competitive e-commerce industry.
“In the short and mid-term, our focus will be to continue to grow the number of merchants on our platform and our share wallet,” Jones told analysts in an earnings call.