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Sales Are Up, Usership Is Soaring, But Coupang’s Stocks Still Slip After First Public Earnings Report

Panorama of a city business district with office buildings and skyscrapers and superimposed data, charts and diagrams related to stock market, currency exchange and global finance. Blue line graphs with numbers and exchange rates, candlestick charts and financial figures fill the image with a glowing light. Sunset light.

Asian eCommerce major player Coupang has reported its first-ever quarterly earnings report Wednesday (May 12) as a public company. (Its IPO was about two months ago.) The result it got, however, wasn’t quite what the firm was looking for.

Sales for the South Korea-based company were up 74 percent from their $4.2 billion performance at this time last year.  That result put Coupang out slightly ahead of analysts’ estimates of $4.19 billion. Earnings, however, present a less glowing picture — Coupang reports an adjusted loss of 68 cents a share, far larger than the estimates the 16-cent loss analysts were looking for pre-release.  That net loss of $474.6 million, however, still represents an improvement from a loss of $699 million at the same time last year.  Gross profit was $733 million in the first quarter, a 70 percent increase from last year.  And notably, Coupang’s active user base continued to surge upward apace — Total Active Customers grew 21 percent year over year to 16 million.  Total net revenues per Active Customer was also up, reaching 44 percent to $262 in the first quarter.

The earnings report comes just two months after the firm’s IPO, which raised $4.55 billion and received a market valuation near $60 billion.  That made Coupang the largest foreign IPO on the U.S. market since Alibaba’s in September 2014.

And though the firm still has losses to overcome, founder Bom Suk Kim was satisfied overall with the quarterly outcome when he spoke with investors post-release.

“Coupang was founded with a mission to make customers wonder ‘How did I ever live without Coupang?’—a vision that forced us to reexamine the tradeoffs in commerce and to build hard things to tackle them,” said Bom Suk Kim. “Our strong 2021 first quarter results show that we are making meaningful progress towards that goal. We’re excited that our underlying fundamentals are better than ever and our differentiation keeps growing over time.”

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