Amazon brought e-commerce to the U.S. consumer, and its all-time returns exceeding 187,000% make it one of most successful stocks ever. Investors may struggle to find another Amazon, but these three international e-commerce stocks all offer potential upside worth considering.
1. Southeast Asia
Sea Limited (NYSE:SE) is an internet company that operates in Southeast Asia. Its business is made of three primary segments: Shopee (e-commerce), Garena (gaming), and Sea Money (payments).
Sea Limited’s Shopee business is the most popular e-commerce website in Southeast Asia by a wide margin, with more than twice the traffic of second-place Lazada, owned by Alibaba Group Holding. Sea’s first-quarter 2021 revenue grew 147% year over year to $1.76 billion and is expected to generate full-year revenue of $8.3 billion in 2021.
Sea’s digital entertainment business, Garena, is behind the most popular battle royale game in the world, Free Fire. This is Sea Limited’s most profitable business, with 64.4% EBITDA margins that help lift the company’s overall profitability. Sea Limited is heavily investing in growing its business, so it shows a net loss, but in Q1 2021, Sea Limited posted $88 million in EBITDA, implying the underlying business is profitable.
The e-commerce market in Southeast Asia is estimated to grow to $300 billion by 2025 and currently has just a 5% penetration rate among the region’s 650 million residents. If Sea Limited can continue to hold its leading market position, there is still a lot of growth to be had over the long term.
2. Latin America
MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI) is an e-commerce company in Latin America. Its business covers the entire retail transaction process, including Marketplace (e-commerce), Mercado Pago (payments), and Mercado Envios (shipping).
MercadoLibre’s marketplace is the de facto leading e-commerce website in Latin America, where it’s been operating for more than 20 years. MercadoLibre grew revenue 158% year over year to $1.37 billion in the first quarter of 2021 and is expected to hit $6.29 billion for the full year.
Like Sea Limited, MercadoLibre invests heavily in itself to grow and protect market share in the region. In Q1 2021, MercadoLibre posted a net loss, but generated positive EBIT margins of 7%, meaning the underlying business was slightly profitable before interest and taxes were paid.
Just 4.7% of retail transactions are online in Latin America, and a 2018 study showed that 70% of Latin America remains underbanked. Payments platform Mercado Pago is growing rapidly, hitting $468 in revenue in 2021 Q1, a 117% year-over-year increase. With a strong presence in commerce and payments, MercadoLibre is well positioned to grow as consumers in Latin America turn to digital solutions.
Ozon Holdings (NASDAQ:OZON) is an e-commerce company operating in Russia. Similar to MercadoLibre, it offers a package of services to customers, built around e-commerce, including Marketplace (e-commerce), Logistics/fulfillment (pick-up/shipping), Fintech services, and Express (one-hour grocery delivery).
Ozon’s 2020 revenue of 104.3 billion Russian rubles (about $1.4 billion) make it Russia’s third-largest e-commerce website behind M.Video (electronics-focused) and Wildberries (fashion-focused), but offers a well-rounded assortment of products on its platform.
Ozon’s marketplace continues to grow rapidly. Its Q1 2021 gross marketplace volume (GMV), the value of all goods and services on Ozon’s platform, grew to RUB 74.2 billion (about $1 billion), a 135% year-over-year increase, and its sixth consecutive quarter triple-figure growth. The company’s actual revenue in Q1 2021 totaled RUB 33.4 billion ($454 million), up 67% over the prior year.
Like its international peers, Ozon is investing heavily to grab market share and to grow its business. The company is not profitable at this time, posting a Q1 net loss of RUB 6.7 billion ($91 million). The Russian market is already digital, with more than 80% of residents using the internet, but e-commerce is young. Just 11% of retail sales came from online transactions in 2020. Ozon could continue to grow rapidly as Russian consumers gravitate toward online shopping.
The bottom line
All three of these companies do business in emerging markets that are years behind the United States in e-commerce adoption. Sea Limited and MercadoLibre are well established, with market caps of $156 billion and $80 billion.
Ozon is a bit smaller at $11 billion and is competing with a couple of other larger players in its market. Still, its smaller market cap may give it a higher potential upside if the business continues to execute.
With all three companies growing their e-commerce platforms at triple-figure rates and complementing the business with payments, logistics, and gaming (in the case of Sea Limited), investors could be in for long-term success as international markets become more and more digital. Investors will want to monitor each company’s revenue growth to look for potential pressure from competitors or economic challenges in these less stable, emerging markets.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.
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