JPMorgan says this China-based stock will be the ‘best defensive play’ in e-commerce
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JPMorgan says now is a good time to jump into Vipshop shares. The bank upgraded the stock to overweight following Vipshop’s first-quarter earnings announcement earlier in the week. JPMorgan also set its price target at $18, implying more than 20% upside from where shares closed on Wednesday. “We believe Vipshop (VIPS) will be the best defensive play in the China ecommerce space in the next six months on earnings visibility/upside risks … and the share price correction over the past week (-13% vs. KWEB -6%) offers an entry point for investors,” analyst Andre Chang wrote in a Thursday note. VIPS 1D mountain VIPS jumps “Its focus on apparel and accessories (70%+ of revenue) and discount sales gives it cyclical tailwinds that we think will further surprise market expectations in coming quarters after the beat in 1Q23,” he added. The analyst said the company’s earnings could further increase by 6% annually over the next two years through its $1 billion share buyback program. He estimates this could raise earnings per share by more than 10% not reflected in the firm’s estimates. “We expect more upside surprise in coming quarters,” said Chang. “Despite the intensifying competition, we believe VIPS’ price competitiveness as a discount sales channel is enough to secure its niche user base (40m+ on quarterly basis and 80m+ on annual basis), which is small enough for some upside despite cyclical tailwinds for the category, in our view, meaning VIPS should be able to maintain growth with limited investments.” Shares were up 2.1% Thursday during premarket trading after rising 5.3% during the prior session. The stock is up 9.4% year to date. —CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.