Shopify Shares Fall as Investors Wait for Stock Lockup to End

Shopify Inc. fell to its lowest value in two months as shareholders bet the lifting of sales restrictions on company insiders and early investors could pull the high-flying stock down.

The e-commerce software company’s stock lockup ends Tuesday, giving Shopify’s venture investors and employees the right to sell more than 67 million shares held at the company’s initial public offering in May, said Katie Keita, director of investor relations at Shopify. The company’s stock fell 3.5 percent to $27.35 at the close Monday in New York, the lowest price since Sept. 14.

Monday’s decline shows investors are selling ahead of the expiring lockup, even after Shopify reported better-than-expected earnings two weeks ago, said Terry Tillman, an Atlanta-based analyst at Raymond James.

Lockup agreements exist to keep a company’s share price stable in the months following an IPO by preventing employees and early investors from dumping the stock. Shareholders released from the lockup don’t have to sell. About 8.9 million shares were available in Shopify’s public offering.

Big Jump

Shopify, which helps businesses set up online stores and provides them with shipping and payment tools, has soared 61 percent since going public in May at $17 a share, making it one of the best-performing North American technology IPOs of the year. The Ottawa-based company isn’t profitable, but raised its full-year revenue forecast to a range of $194 million to $196 million when it reported third-quarter earnings on Nov. 4.

“The stock has been a tremendous performer right out of the gate,” said Tillman, who has the equivalent of a hold rating on the stock. That’s also made it expensive compared with similar companies, he said.

“It was not by any means a cheap stock and even after today, if I just look at it now it’s still got premium valuation,” Tillman said.

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