Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke Wants Financial Analysts To Be Held Accountable

Tobias Lütke, founder and CEO of Shopify, Inc. (TSX: SHOP), took to Twitter to ponder whether anyone was tracking the accuracy of financial analysts, and whether they’re being “held accountable” for their projections.

His followers, meanwhile, think he should just focus on his company.

Lütke’s tweet comes just a few days after the e-commerce platform’s Q1 2022 earnings call, where the Ottawa-based company reported a net loss of US$1.5 billion for the quarter, versus Q1 2021’s net income of US$1.3 billion.

Analysts on the call expressed doubt over Shopify’s strategy, asking pointed questions about the company’s continuously shrinking share price, questioning its ability to attract and retain tech talent in a tight labor market amid low stock prices, and giving a less than warm reception for the announcement of Shopify’s acquisition of fulfillment company Deliverr, Inc.

Shopify’s 2022 strategy is to focus on allocating capital into four key investment themes, and one of these is growing its fulfillment arm. The acquisition of Deliverr, which cost Shopify US$2.1 billion, is a push towards allowing Shopify Fulfillment Network to “accelerate its road map by assembling an end-to-end logistics platform that manages inventory from port to porch and across all sales channels for merchants of all sizes on and off Shopify.”

Investors are growing to become less interested in companies that focus on growth over profits. The e-commerce platform enjoyed a share hike over the pandemic, with prices soaring as high as US$2,140 in mid-November, coming from about US$700 in mid-February 2020. But the company’s pandemic gains have since been reversed as shares have plummeted by about 70% since, bringing the stocks price back to pre-pandemic levels, and trading at just US$336 today. 

In many of the replies to Lütke’s tweet, he was urged to focus instead on the business. He also did get an answer to his question, and quite painfully so.

Perhaps he should instead focus on the operations of his company. Especially since he recently felt entitled enough to convince the board of directors to provide himself with a “founder share” to enable him to maintain 40% control over the company.

Information for this briefing was found via Sedar and Shopify. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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