Can W Maintain its Profitability?

Shares of Mid-cap Specialty Retail company Wayfair were up 4.5% during today's afternoon session. Today's upwards movement shows that investor interest in W stock is strong -- but how closely have they studied the company's margins?

While Wayfair's gross margins for the last year are positive, we are concerned that the company's operating margins are in the red. Gross margins take into account only the cost of revenue, or variable costs -- meaning the cost directly associated with producing the products or providing the service offered by the company.

Operating margins, on the other hand, take into account the company's overhead as well. Overhead, also called fixed costs, includes the company's rent, salaries for personnel not included in cost of revenue, equipment and supplies, amortization, and depreciation. Operating margins tell you about how efficiently Wayfair is run, and gross margins tell you how profitable its product line is.

Date Reported Revenue ($ k) Cost of Revenue ($ k) Gross Margins (%) YoY Growth (%)
2023-02-23 12,218,000 -8,802,000 27.96 -1.58
2022-02-24 13,708,000 -9,813,000 28.41 -2.27
2021-02-25 14,145,000 -10,033,000 29.07 23.6
2020-02-28 9,127,000 -6,980,000 23.52 n/a

Wayfair's gross margins have a coefficient of variability of 9.3%, with a low percentage rate being more desirable as it indicates stability. Revenues have a delta of 7.6% while cost of revenue is shrinking at a rate of -6.0%, which allows for the company's gross margins to grow at an average 4.4% per year.

Date Reported Total Revenue ($ k) Operating Expenses ($ k) Operating Margins (%) YoY Growth (%)
2023-02-23 12,218,000 -4,730,000 -10.75 -1691.67
2022-02-24 13,708,000 -3,977,000 -0.6 -123.35
2021-02-25 14,145,000 -3,748,000 2.57 125.22
2020-02-28 9,127,000 -3,077,000 -10.19 n/a

The table above tells us that, on average, Wayfair has not been profitable over the last four years, which should be a warning sign to prospective investors. Indeed, the company's operating margins are sinking at rate of -1.3%

The above analysis is intended for educational purposes only and was performed on the basis of publicly available data. It is not to be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Any buy, sell, or other recommendations mentioned in the article are direct quotations of consensus recommendations from the analysts covering the stock, and do not represent the opinions of Market Inference or its writers. Past performance, accounting data, and inferences about market position and corporate valuation are not reliable indicators of future price movements. Market Inference does not provide financial advice. Investors should conduct their own review and analysis of any company of interest before making an investment decision.