The Zacks Internet - Delivery Services industry participants like Go Daddy GDDY, Vipshop Holdings VIPS, MakeMyTrip MMYT and Asure Software ASUR have been benefiting from the reopening of economies, with their business activities reaching pre-pandemic levels. Additionally, a greater Internet presence in emerging markets, a burgeoning affluent middle class and the accelerated uptake of smartphones are set to aid Internet – Delivery Services industry participants. Online delivery is yet to expand beyond major metros, underlining lower penetration and significant room for growth. However, as expansion into newer markets will take some time to generate volumes, higher upfront costs might erode profitability. These, along with elevated operating expenses related to hiring new employees and sales and marketing strategies to capture more market share, are likely to strain margins in the near term.
The Zacks Internet - Delivery Services industry primarily comprises companies that offer services via Internet-based platforms. These include food delivery, online travel booking, direct marketing and media services and web hosting, among others. Some companies in this space offer Internet domain registration and web hosting registration and sell e-business-related software and services. A few industry participants provide air and train ticket bookings, customized holiday packages, hotel booking, bus tickets and car hire services. Some players offer online direct marketing and media services, including online messaging, email broadcasting, search engine marketing and brand management facilities. Growth-stage companies in the industry are spending more on R&D and sales & marketing, making it difficult for them to generate profits in the near term.
3 Trends Shaping the Future of the Internet - Delivery Services Industry
Smartphones & Internet Penetration Act as Key Catalysts: The Internet is ubiquitous, and the heightening usage of smartphones is changing the delivery landscape. The companies in the Zacks Internet - Delivery Services industry are benefiting from the growing number of Internet users, coupled with an improvement in Internet penetration and the rapid adoption of the 4G Volte technology. The emergence of 5G technology, which promises faster speed and deliverability, also bodes well for this industry.
Shifting Consumer Preferences: The shift in consumer preferences, driven by convenience and easy accessibility, is anticipated to aid the industry. The accelerated transition from offline to online food ordering, as well as the rising penetration of online travel booking, augurs well for industry players. However, as the higher consumer spending appetite is the main driver of the overall industry’s health, any sluggishness in the global economy will pose a risk.
Higher Upfront Costs to Hurt Profitability: Online delivery is yet to expand beyond major metros, underlining lower penetration and significant room for growth. However, higher upfront costs related to expansion strategies might erode profitability. Moreover, Amazon’s focus on strengthening its delivery system is a key challenge for the industry players. We believe the company’s powerful distribution channels are a major force that might highly threaten incumbents in this industry. Also, the search giant, Alphabet, has forayed into the food delivery market with its delivery arm, Wing, and an array of food delivery apps, which are likely to intensify competition.
Zacks Industry Rank Indicates Bright Prospects
The Internet - Delivery Services industry is housed within the broader Computer and Technology sector. It carries a Zacks Industry Rank #20, which places it among the top 8% of about 250 Zacks industries.
The group’s Zacks Industry Rank, which is basically the average of the Zacks Rank of all the member stocks, indicates solid near-term prospects. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperform the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1.
The industry’s positioning in the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries is a result of a positive earnings outlook for the constituent companies in aggregate. Looking at the aggregate earnings estimate revisions, it appears that analysts are optimistic about this group’s earnings growth potential. The industry’s earnings estimate for 2023 has moved up 41.9% over the past 12 months.
Estimate Revision for 2023
Before we present a few stocks that you may want to consider for your portfolio, let us look at the industry’s recent stock-market performance and valuation picture.
Industry Outperforms the S&P 500, Lags the Sector
The Zacks Internet - Delivery industry has outperformed the S&P 500 composite over the past year. However, the industry has underperformed the broader Zacks Computer and Technology sector during the same period.
The industry has risen 14.8% during this period, while the S&P 500 and the broader sector have increased 13.4% and 24.5%, respectively.
One-Year Price Performance
Industry's Current Valuation
On the basis of forward 12-month price-to-sales (P/S), a commonly-used multiple for valuing Internet-Delivery stocks, the industry is currently trading at 0.83X compared with the S&P 500’s 3.74X and the sector’s 3.95X.
Over the past five years, the industry has traded as high as 1.34X and as low as 0.57X and recorded a median of 0.87X, as the charts below show.
Price-to-Sales Ratio (Industry vs. S&P 500)
Price-to-Sales Ratio (Industry vs. Sector)
4 Stocks to Watch
MakeMyTrip: It is an online travel service company that offers travel products and solutions in India and the United States. The company's services and products include air tickets, customized holiday packages, hotel booking, railway tickets, bus tickets and car hire. It also facilitates access to travel insurance. The stock currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
MakeMyTrip is gaining substantially from improving travel conditions and the reopening of economies. In addition, recovering hotel demand as a result of the rise in short-stay getaway vacations, great travel deals and hygienically safe properties is a major upside. Also, the company is optimistic regarding its cost-control initiatives, MySafety and GoSafe programs, and strengthening hotel business.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2024 earnings has been revised upward to $3.82 per share from 68 cents 30 days ago.
Price and Consensus: MMYT
Asure Software: It is a cloud computing firm that offers business clients the chance to modernize everything from human capital management (HCM) and time & attendance solutions to payroll and taxes. Asure Software’s strategic initiative to become a pure software-as-a-service HCM company is aiding its top-line growth. This Zacks Rank #1 company’s focus on driving innovation for its HCM solutions is helping it expand its footprint in the HCM market.
New client additions and a continued focus on cross-selling to existing clients are driving Asure Software’s revenues. The company’s differentiated employee strategy, measurement capabilities and comprehensive product offerings are helping it win new customers.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Asure Software’s 2023 earnings has been revised upward by 11 cents to 51 cents per share in the past 30 days.
Price and Consensus: ASUR
Vipshop Holdings: It is an online discount retailer for brands. The company offers branded products to consumers in China through flash sales on its vipshop.com website.
The company’s continued efforts toward strengthening product offerings and improving product procurement are aiding its financial performance, given the growing proliferation of online shopping. Further, the solid execution of its merchandising strategy is bolstering its active customer base. Moreover, its successful transition to discount retailing is a major upside. This is likely to continue driving momentum across repeat customers and help attract new ones.
Additionally, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company’s quarterly results are likely to keep benefiting from its deepening focus on high-margin-generating apparel-related businesses, especially the discount apparel business. Furthermore, Vipshop’s deep discount channels are expected to bolster its online gross merchandise volumes in the quarters ahead.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has remained unchanged at $1.93 per share over the past 60 days.
Price and Consensus: VIPS
GoDaddy: It is an Internet domain registrar and web hosting company that also sells e-business-related software and services. This Zacks Rank #3 company is engaged in the designing and development of cloud-based technology products for small businesses, web design professionals and individuals.
GoDaddy is benefiting from strong momentum across the Applications & Commerce business and the expanding global footprint. The strength of Create & Grow solutions is aiding the Application & Commerce segment’s top-line growth. Website plus marketing, driven by greater engagement with customers based on new product launches, is contributing well. Strong renewals & registrations and the expansion of GoDaddy Registry are major catalysts. Growth in bookings, primarily driven by strong customer additions, and price increases in various domains have been a key catalyst.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2023 earnings has been revised downward by a penny to $2.39 per share over the past 30 days.
Price and Consensus: GDDY
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