Farfetch shares plunge as weak demand in US, China slams 2023 outlook

By Deborah Mary Sophia

(Reuters) -Shares of Farfetch slumped nearly 40% to a record low on Friday, as choppy demand in the online luxury goods retailer’s top two markets, the United States and China, drove a gloomy annual sales outlook.

Farfetch also missed revenue estimates in what analysts called a “very disappointing” second-quarter earnings report, taking a hit from retailers cutting back on orders for the fall and winter seasons due to leftover inventories.

“We have seen a less buoyant luxury customer in the U.S. In Mainland China… the reality is the recovery has not been as robust as we had expected when we reported our Q1 results,” CEO José Neves said on Thursday.

Analysts at J.P. Morgan and Keybanc downgraded their ratings on the stock. At least six brokerages have cut their price targets on Farfetch.

“We appreciate Farfetch’s management trying to right-size the organization and streamline the cost structure, but think it will likely take a few quarters for the business to stabilize and drive sustainable growth,” said Oliver Chen, analyst at TD Cowen.

Farfetch projected total gross merchandise value, or the total dollar value of orders processed – a key revenue metric – to be about $4.4 billion for 2023, compared with prior expectations of $4.9 billion.

The implied slowdown in the outlook was “quite significant”, said BTIG analyst Marvin Fong.

“The greater question is whether the new outlook is sufficiently conservative given outstanding questions with respect to (the U.S. and China)…management’s credibility has taken another blow and visibility is very limited,” Fong added.

Shares of the company were trading at $2.87. As of Thursday’s close, Farfetch had a market capitalization of about $1.68 billion, per Refinitiv data.

“Farfetch remains an extremely challenging business to wrap one’s head around, with highly volatile fundamentals and one of the most confusing models in our (coverage) space,” Wedbush analysts said.

(Reporting by Deborah Sophia in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)