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Feeding Frenzy: Chewy Stock Explodes Amid IPO Market Mania

Last Updated September 23, 2020 12:47 PM
W. E. Messamore
Last Updated September 23, 2020 12:47 PM

By CCN.com: Friday’s Chewy IPO was a feeding frenzy of investor enthusiasm for this summer’s latest hot new stock. The IPO is clearly not dead in 2019, despite the brutal debuts of Lyft and Uber, which were all bark and no bite.

The tremendous showing of IPOs like CrowdStrike, Fiverr, Beyond Meat, and Chewy show that Wall Street is still hungry for promising new companies with husky business prospects.

The online pet retailer’s total raise topped $1 billion.

PetSmart’s Chewy IPO Retrieves Big Profits

Chewy shares (NYSE: CHWY) debuted on the stock market Friday at $22 per share, and rocketed up the chart to retrieve $41 a share by midday.

By late afternoon the PetSmart subsidiary’s stock had settled down to $35.98 a share, netting a mouth-watering 63% rally over the IPO share price in just a few hours.

chewy ipo stock price chart
Chewy shares soared as high as 85% from the IPO price in Friday morning trading. | Source: Yahoo Finance

Chewy reported a net loss of $268 million in 2018 , narrowing its loss from the previous year’s $338 million.

But investors don’t see this stock rolling over any time soon. Strong customer loyalty, a 60% growth rate, and $3.5 billion in sales have investors panting.

Analyst Purrs Over Chewy’s Market

Speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box Thursday, Rett Wallace of Triton Research said:

“On the one hand, it’s not profitable. On the other hand, the sock puppet. But they sell $3.5 billion of pet food and supplies.”

Becky Quick asked:

“What will it take to make a profit on that? Is it an easy switch to flip for them?

The 20-year Wall Street veteran and Triton founder replied:

“They’re close enough to the line that it’s not insulting to your imagination the way it is for something like Lyft, where you see Lyft losing 50% of revenue on the bottom line. These guys lose a couple hundred million dollars on three and a half billion dollars of revenue.”

Wallace also doesn’t see any competitors in Chewy’s niche putting the online pet retailer’s profits on pause anytime soon:

“Also I think the unit economics of what Chewy is spending to get new customers to buy stuff, and the stickiness of demand–– plus they’re big in their category, where they don’t have something like the Uber-Lyft duopoly of discounts and things like that.”

Today’s IPO shows that even with Amazon wolfing down the e-commerce market, there is plenty of room left for niche online retailers to grow, even into unicorns like Chewy.