Revenue of Boston’s Wayfair soars 81 percent

Explore this investment 02.26.16

Feb. 26–Wayfair Inc. yesterday announced it reached a financial goal one year earlier than planned, as its fourth-quarter top and bottom lines easily beat Wall Street expectations.

The Boston online home furnishings retailer posted its first quarter of positive adjusted EBITDA as a public company at $2.8 million after vowing to reach break-even adjusted EBITDA by year’s end. EBITDA is essentially net income with interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization added back in.

“It signals that the company can drive profitability and grow at the same time,” Wedbush Securities analyst Seth Basham said. “And the growth rate of revenue is much higher than expected. It takes a lot of money to invest in growth. That basically means they’re doing very well with their core business, and their investments are paying off.”

Wayfair narrowed its quarterly loss to $15.5 million, from $72.5 million in the prior-year quarter, as revenue soared 81 percent to $739.8 million, compared to analysts’ expectations for $681.5 million.

Wayfair operates five ecommerce sites: Wayfair.com and the smaller Joss & Main, AllModern, DwellStudio and Birch Lane. Its shares climbed 10.63 percent yesterday to $44.77.

“Our business continued to significantly outperform,” CEO Niraj Shahsaid. “Some of this outsized growth and the … positive adjusted EBITDA was driven by a very successful holiday season.”

Repeat customers accounted for 54.3 percent of quarterly orders, up from 50.3 percent in 2014. “That indicates that customers are coming back to Wayfair after an initial trial, which is important because the bear story on this stock is that customers will try it once and never come back,” Basham said.