Zip shares surge 10%, bringing gains to 55% in a month

It appears recent developments continue being priced in to the BNPL player's stock.

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Zip Co Ltd (ASX: ZIP) shares are rocketing today, up 9.8% to a new 52-week high of $1.68 in lunchtime trading.

This continues an uptrend over the past month that has seen Zip shares rally more than 55% off lows of $1.07 apiece on 4 June. In contrast, the broader S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has lifted 1.1% higher in the past month.

Here's a closer look at what's behind the rally in Zip shares.

Why are Zip shares soaring?

Investors appear to be bullish on Zip's turnaround story under its new management. The buy now, pay later (BNPL) company has shifted from an aggressive growth strategy to a more sustainable, profitable model.

That is the opinion of Tyndall Asset Management portfolio manager James Nguyen, who recently spoke to the Australian Financial Review.

As Nguyen explained:

While the macro environment is now more supportive, it is the company-specific turnaround under new management that sets Zip apart from its BNPL counterparts.

Growth for growth's sake has been abandoned, as has its international domination aspirations, and in place is a sustainable, profitable growth strategy.

The money manager expects Zip to produce nearly $100 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) within 18 months due to the transformation.

As a result, the company's enterprise value-to-EBITDA ratio is "not too dissimilar to the broader market", Nguyen says, despite Zip having "one of the highest available growth rates".

Zip shares received an additional boost following the news that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) will discontinue its Apple Pay Later service in the United States.

This move reduces competition in the lucrative US market, potentially benefiting Zip's market share. As my colleague James noted, Apple's integration of third-party services into its upcoming iOS 18 software could also present an opportunity for Zip, depending on whether it becomes one of the integrated providers.

What's the outlook for Zip shares?

Zip's financial performance could further propel its share price. In Q1 FY 2024, the company reported a 15% year-on-year increase in transaction volume to $2.2 billion.

This came as Zip's business grew to 7.4 million active customers during the quarter, an increase of 17% on the prior corresponding period.

Analysts remain optimistic about Zip's prospects. UBS and Ord Minnett each rate Zip shares as a buy. But their price targets are $1.55 on the stock. Today's price action brings us past this mark.

Will they increase their targets further? Who knows. We shall wait and see.

Foolish takeaway

Zip shares have surged to new 52-week highs today, driven by several recent developments. In the last 12 months, shares in the BNPL player have rallied more than 270%.

Motley Fool contributor Zach Bristow has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Zip Co. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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