Afterpay (ASX:APT) share price rockets on US update

The Afterpay Ltd (ASX:APT) share price is on fire on Tuesday. Here's why the payment giant's shares are smashing the market today…

A businesman's hands surround a circular graphic with a United States flag and dollar signs, indicating buying and selling US shares

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The Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) share price has been an exceptionally strong performer on Tuesday.

In early afternoon trade, the payments company's shares are up a sizeable 8.5% to $114.48.

Why is the Afterpay share price charging higher?

There have been a couple of catalysts for the strong rise in the Afterpay share price on Tuesday.

One is a very positive night of trade on the tech-focused Nasdaq index overnight, following an equally positive trading session on Thursday before the Good Friday holiday.

This has led to a number of Australian tech shares climbing today, sending the S&P ASX All Technology Index (ASX: XTX) hurtling higher.

What else?

Also supporting the Afterpay share price today was the release of an announcement on Monday via its website.

That announcement includes the results and consumer shopping trends for its bi-annual Afterpay Day sale. This was the first ever to include brick-and-mortar shopping.

According to the release, the U.S. sale drove a 35% increase in new active customer to the platform. This means the total number of customers that have signed up to Afterpay in the U.S. now exceeds 16 million.

While it is unclear how many of these are "active" customers, it will be a big lift on the 8 million active customers it reported in North America during the first half of FY 2021.

Another positive was that traffic to Afterpay's brand partners was strong. The company sent nearly six million referrals to global merchants via its Shop Directory during the sale's duration, with approximately 30% of referrals going to SMB partners.

Crocs, Nike sneakers, Fenty Beauty, Ulta Beauty, and UGG topped Afterpay's list of most purchased items.

Most Americans were using their mobile phone to make those purchases. The company notes that 86% of U.S. Afterpay Day transactions occurred on mobile devices, with an average of four items in each shopping basket.

Afterpay's Head of North America, Melissa Davis, commented: "Afterpay Day was the perfect way to support our merchant partners as retailers welcomed their customers back to their physical stores and the economy starts to rebound."

"As evidenced by the numbers, Afterpay Day delivered new customers, drove increased sales and increased basket sizes online and in-store for the more than 3,000 participating merchants in North America," she concluded.

Can the Afterpay share price go higher?

Don't worry if you're missing out on today's strong gains. This is because a number of brokers are expecting the Afterpay share price to go even higher from here.

One of those is Morgan Stanley. It currently has an overweight rating and $159.00 price target on its shares. This price target implies potential upside of almost 39% for its shares over the next 12 months.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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