Zulily’s shares jumped more than 35 percent today after Wall Street applauded the Seattle online retailer’s fourth quarter earnings, which blew right past analysts’ estimates. The performance even got CNBC’s Jim “Mad Money” Cramer hyperventilating with excitement.
But there’s one person who benefitted more than anyone with today’s news: Zulily chairman Mark Vadon.
Vadon, the former Blue Nile exec who co-founded Zulily in 2009, owned a whopping 31.7 percent stake in Zulily at the time of the company’s November IPO.
That means, after today’s amazing stock surge, his 35,458,075 shares was worth just over $2.07 billion on paper. That was up from $1.5 billion just the day before.
Of course, the key phrase here is “on paper.” As is typical in public offerings, Vadon is prevented from selling his shares, part of a “lock-up” period that accompanies new offerings.
In the case of Zulily, executive officers and directors are prevented from selling for 180 days from the public offering, which took place Nov. 15.
Zulily is somewhat unique in that Vadon — along with co-founder and CEO Darrell Cavens — were able to hang on to a big chunk of stock through several large venture capital financings. Cavens held 21.8 percent of class B shares at the time of the IPO, a stake now worth $1.5 billion on paper.
Nonetheless, no matter what the stock does, the prospects look bright for Zulily, a company that “Mad Money” Cramer said today has the ability to “beat” Amazon.com. That may be overstating things a bit, as Cramer likes to do. But certainly Zulily — which is expanding its mobile footprint and establishing a new fulfillment center in Nevada — is impressing Wall Street with its debut.
“I urge everyone to take a look at ZU. The reason why it’s up is because it deserves to be up,” said Cramer. Zulily posted a 100 percent increase in sales during the fourth quarter, hauling in $257 million and making a profit of $12.9 million.
Those results propelled Zulily forward in its first earnings report as a public company, which continues to expand its product offerings beyond the baby and kids’ products. The remarks from the CNBC host on Tuesday morning probably didn’t hurt the stock, either.