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STOCK WATCH: Not so merry or bright

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By Published On: December 13, 20220 Comments

The ASX Listed E-Commerce Index has shed a massive 62% in the last year, with pureplay online retailers hit hard in a year of flux.

Booktopia has announced the appointment of Abigail Cheadle and Stephen Ezekiel as Non Executive Directors. Cheadle’s appointment would come as no surprise. In August, Tony Nash called for an Extraordinary General Meeting calling for the removal of Chris Beare and Su-Ming Wong and to appoint Cheadle. By September, Su-Min Wong had resigned, Fiona Pak-Poy, Judy Slayter and Chris Beare announced they would resign at the AGM on 28 November and Beare said he would step down as Chair as soon as a new Chair was elected.

Cheadle and Ezekiel’s appointments follow the appointment of its new Chairman and non-executive Director, Peter George (replacing Beare). The Booktopia Board now comprises George, Cheadle, Ezekiel and Booktopia Founders Tony Nash and Steven Traurig.

The Booktopia share price has been fairly stable in the last week, after a year of volatility. Literally stable. Like, 0% over seven days to $0.205 at close of ASX on Monday. The appointments mark a new chapter for the pureplay book retailer and the year ahead will certainly be an interesting one.

Source: ASX Listed E-Commerce Index based on ASX reporting for the period

Redbubble is the worst performer on the ASX Listed E-Commerce Index, dropping 9.1% to $0.55 in the last week. Adore is close behind (in front?) at -8.8% in the last seven days to $1.30 at close on Monday. Temple & Webster has shed 4.7% to $4.67 and Kogan is down 1.5% to $3.29. Last week we reported that Kogan Director Janine Allis snapped up 10,000 ordinary shares at $3.33 (bringing her total to 14,761 ordinary shares). This could have potentially have been seen as a show of confidence, leading to a boost in share price. But it….wasn’t and…didn’t.

The strongest performer on the ASX Listed E-Commerce Index was Cettire, which has recovered after Founder and CEO Dean Mintz confirmed he sold a $60 million stake in the company, amounting to around 41 million shares at $1.46 a share, or 10.8% of issued capital in November. In the last seven days, its share price has lifted 4.5% to $1.50 (after a dip to $1.34 last month).

The E-Com Index (down 3.3%) has underperformed compared to the ASX200 (down 2%) in the last seven days. Taking a longer view though, the ASX Listed E-Commerce Index has severely underperformed when we look year-on-year. In the last 12 months, the E-Com Index is down a jaw-dropping 62%, with Booktopia and BikeExchange the worst performers (each down around 88%). Cettire is the ‘best’ performer, in that it is only down 52.8%. In the same one year period, the ASX200 is down only 1.8%. While inflationary pressures and general economic uncertainty has hit Australian listed companies hard, pureplay online retailers have clearly been severely hammered on the ASX. The question remains whether 2023 will be one of recovery and growth, or a continuation of challenges that have plagued online retailers throughout 2022.

Figures are current as at close of ASX on 12 December 2022. This is analysis only and not intended as investment advice.

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About the Author: Natasha Scholl

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