Shares of Chewy (NYSE: CHWY) are trading 16% higher in early-market trading today at the time of writing. The company announced its results for the first-quarter of fiscal 2022 (ended in April) and reported revenue of $2.43 billion with adjusted earnings of $0.04. Comparatively, analysts expected Chewy to report revenue of $2.44 billion and an adjusted loss of $0.14 per share.
The uptick in Chewy's stock price can be attributed to its impressive earnings beat in Q1 of fiscal 2022. Chewy stated its revenue rose by 14% year-over-year, and the company improved gross margins and profitability on a sequential basis. Its active customers increased by 4.2% year-over-year to 20.6 million, and net sales per customer grew by 15% to $446 in the quarter.
Chewy is an e-commerce platform in the U.S. that provides pet foods and treats -- as well as pet supplies, medications, and health products on its marketplace. It offers more than 100,000 products from 3,000 partner brands, making Chewy a household name for pet owners.
In Q1, categories such as consumables and healthcare drove sales, showcasing their non-discretionary nature. Further, Autoship customer sales accounted for 72.2% of total revenue, a record high for Chewy. Autoship is a service that allows users to set up repeat deliveries and save on items bought regularly.
Another metric that would have impressed investors is the net sales per active customer (NSPAC), which is a vital driver of the company's long-term revenue growth. Since the onset of COVID-19, the NSPAC has surged by 24%, or $86. However, the growth potential is much more impressive if you consider that around two-thirds of Chewy customers were acquired in the last three years and are still early in consolidating their spending on the online platform.
Chewy reported an adjusted EBITDA of $60.5 million, a decline of almost 22% compared to the year-ago period. The adjusted EBITDA margin narrowed by 110 basis points to 2.5% in Q1 due to a decrease in gross margins and higher operating expenses on the back of elevated labor costs and investments in new business and growth initiatives.
Despite Chewy's stellar earnings beat in Q1, investors should understand that the company's bottom line is likely to deteriorate in fiscal 2022. Wall Street estimates the loss per share to widen to $0.47 in fiscal 2022 compared to a loss of $0.18 per share in fiscal 2021. Like most other companies, Chewy will continue to wrestle with higher labor costs, supply chain disruptions, and a challenging macro-economic environment in the next 12-months.
Alternatively, Chewy stock is down 70% from all-time highs and is trading at a forward price to sales multiple of less than 1x, which is very cheap for a growth stock. Analysts tracking Chewy remain optimistic about the e-commerce company and expect the stock to double in the next year.
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