MercadoLibre (MELI) is one of the 'old school' dot coms. It has always been an interesting story as a way to play emerging markets, specifically Latin America – but has had incredible volatility over the years. In reading up on its earning report last night I was surprised to see internet penetration in Latin America is *still* below 40%; hard to fathom for those of us spoiled in the developed world. So there is obviously still a growth ramp from internet usage alone, not to mention the secular growth of commerce on the internet. That said, this is all long term discussion and in the stock market "what have you done for me lately" rules. Yesterday's slight miss in EPS is causing a ruckus in the stock price. Full report here.
- ….the Latin American e-commerce powerhouse issued Q1 results that slightly missed analysts' earnings and sales estimates. The profit miss was partly blamed on the cost of new technology investments, while the lower-than-expected sales were partly related to disruptions caused by customer shifts to a new payment platform during Q1.
- In the first quarter, MercadoLibre earned 45 cents a share, up 41% from 32 cents in the year-earlier period but a penny lower than the 46-cents average estimate of 11 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Q1 sales surged 36% to $83.7 million, missing analysts' forecasts for $84.29 million.
- MercadoLibre said its number of new users jumped by 37% from the same quarter a year earlier, or by 3.6 million, in Q1. The company had 69.5 million registered users at the end of the quarter.
- In keeping with previous practice, the company didn't issue a forecast for the current quarter or the full year.
- Gross merchandise volume, the total dollar sales value for merchandise sold on MercadoLibre in Q1, grew 39% year over year to $1.32 billion while total payment volume surged 51% to $370.1 million. Items sold on MercadoLibre jumped 38% to 15 million. Total payment transactions through its MercadoPago online payment service soared 85% to 4.9 million.
- Gross profit for Q1 was $62.6 million, a 33% increase over Q1 2011. Gross profit margin for the quarter was 74.8%, down from 76.7%.
- In local currencies and by country, Q1 revenue grew by 29% in Brazil, 85% in Argentina, 35% in Mexico, 66% in Venezuela and 34% in other nations.
Any securities mentioned on this page are not held by the author in his personal portfolio. Securities mentioned may or may not be held by the author in the mutual fund he manages, the Paladin Long Short Fund (PALFX). For a list of the aforementioned fund's holdings at the end of the prior quarter, visit the Paladin Funds website at http://www.paladinfunds.com/holdings/blog