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Why Afterpay (ASX:APT) and Zip (ASX:Z1P) shares fell yestertday

Buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) leaders, Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) and Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) both took a steep dive yesterday – down 7.52% and 7.05% respectively.

The market certainly has a strange way of reacting to new information.

While news of another lockdown in NSW sent shares in travel companies like Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) and Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) down, retail beneficiaries such as Ltd (ASX: KGN) and Redbubble Ltd (ASX: RBL) saw a nice bounce in the other direction.

However, this positive momentum didn’t find its way into the BNPL sector despite some being among the largest winners of covid-induced retail spending last year.

What could be weighing in on their share prices?

Some players in the BNPL sector have run extremely hard in the past month, so a pullback doesn’t seem unsurprising.

Before yesterday’s drop, Afterpay’s and Zip’s shares had returned a huge 53.8% and 26% respectively since last month. Given this impressive run, it could be that some investors are taking some profits off the table.

Also coming up is the end of the financial year, so some holders who bought at higher levels might be selling out to offset some capital gains.

What’s Afterpay been up to recently?

Afterpay announced last week that it was expanding its service to popular US merchants such as Amazon, Nike and Sephora.

Customers will be able to shop at these merchants through the Afterpay app. Customers only need to select their preferred merchant through the directory and will then be able to pay using Afterpay.

Not too much more has been released by the company recently. Investors will likely have to wait until next month when it releases its Q4 results.

What about Zip?

Even less news has come out of Zip recently. The last time it updated the market was a month ago regarding its expansion into Europe and the Middle East through its acquisitions of Twisto and Spotii.

Both of these markets are still fairly premature in terms of BNPL adoption, but it seems as though they’ve experienced some rapid growth recently.


Despite being fairly large companies, both Zip and Afterpay remain volatile and seem to react to day-to-day market news and announcements. Ultimately, the proof will be in the numbers coming out of their Q4s and FY21 reports in the coming months.

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At the time of publishing, Patrick owns shares of Redbubble Ltd.