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Baozun earnings preview: New brand additions likely to increase earnings and sales in Q4

The Shanghai, Chinese-based e-commerce solution provider Baozun (Nasdaq: BZUN) is set to report its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2018 earnings results on Wednesday, March 6, before the US market opens. Analysts expect Baozun to post earnings of 60 cents on revenue of $328.5 million.

For the third quarter ended September 30, 2018, Baozun reported non-GAAP net income per ADS of $0.13 and revenue of $161.7 million, representing a year-over-year growth of 46% and 25%, respectively. Total gross merchandise volume (GMV) surged 55% annually to RMB6.4 billion.

Baozun BZUN Q3 2018 earnings

The company had projected Q4 revenue to be in the range of RMB2.200 billion and RMB2.250 billion and estimates GMV to grow 40-45% on a year-over-year basis.

Baozun helps its brand partners to establish market presence and launch products on official brand stores, and major online marketplaces like Alibaba’s (BABA) Tmall and (JD), and major social media platforms like WeChat and Weibo, in China. Some notable brand partners include Philips, Starbucks (SBUX), Nike (NKE) and Microsoft (MSFT).

After reporting a slower order growth rate in sales for Singles Day 2018 compared to the years 2016 and 2017, Baozun stock tanked more than 20% on November 12, 2018. Investors feared that this will have a negative effect on fourth quarter results. From the time of third quarter earnings announcement, the stock had gained about 23% so far.

In the first three quarters of 2018, the company added around 20 brands to its portfolio. During third quarter earnings call, management said that it might add another five or six brands in the fourth quarter and the company expects to be more aggressive acquiring brands in 2019.

According to MarketInsightsReports, China brand 3-commerce service market is estimated to increase at high growth rates during 2017-2021 period.

Growth in the China brand e-commerce service market is aided by increasing disposable income, growth in the number of smartphone users, spike in exports/imports through cross border E-commerce, ease of online payment and reduction in delivery time. However, e-commerce companies avoiding outsourcing and high degree of reliability on telecommunication infrastructure will be the headwinds in the China brand e-commerce service market.

On average, analysts recommend to “Buy” Baozun stock with a 12-month price target of $46.83. Baozun stock, which plunged to a 52-week low ($27.81) in early January, 2019, had appreciated 26% since the beginning of 2019. On Friday, shares of Baozun ended on Nasdaq down 1.04% at $37.06.

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