Afterpay is now more valuable than Coles, as its share price continues to rocket higher

Afterpay co-founders Anthony Eisen and Nick Molnar.
  • Afterpay’s share price broke $92 on Tuesday, sending the company valuation to new heights.
  • The latest investment surge puts Afterpay’s market cap at $25.9 billion.
  • The move higher makes it more valuable than many larger established companies including Coles, Woodside Petroleum, and Qantas.
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As buy now pay later fever grips the Australian sharemarket, Afterpay has ascended into the heavyweight division.

On Tuesday, and in anticipation of Afterpay’s full-year results on Thursday, the buy now pay later company’s stock price broke new ground to end the session at $92.48.

With more than 280 million shares out in the world, it values the company at a whopping $25.9 billion. To put that in perspective, the Australian supermarket chain Coles which was spun off by Wesfarmers last year is now worth nearly $800 million less than Afterpay.

That’s despite the fact that its 700 grocery stores nationally have done a roaring trade throughout the pandemic, trading at around a 30% premium on February’s share price.

Still, it’s not been enough to catch a rocketing Afterpay. Having very briefly dipped below $8 a share back in March, the company’s value has soared more than 1000% in less than six months.

It’s not just Coles, the buy now later the company has somehow dwarfed amidst volatile trading.

Woodside Petroleum, Australia’s largest gas and oil producer, is worth just $19 billion. The country’s largest airline Qantas is worth just $7.2 billion, albeit with most of its operation grounded. Even pre-pandemic however, its market cap was only flitting around the $15 billion mark.

Meanwhile, it’s quickly gaining on to blue-chip and national telco Telstra, worth $36.4 billion on Tuesday.

Afterpay’s rocketing valuation has been enough to make co-founders Nick Molnar and Anthony Eisen very rich men, with Molnar becoming Australia’s youngest-ever self-made billionaire.

While both have been cashing in hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stock, much of that worth is firmly wrapped up in the company. On Tuesday’s price, the 18 million shares they each hold is worth $1.66 billion alone.

Not bad from a six-year-old company that dusted off the concept of the retail lay-by, and pulled it into the digital and credit age.

Allowing customers, predominately millennial women, to largely buy fast fashion and pay it off in four instalments has spawned plenty of competitors and copycats.

But none have yet been able to emulate Afterpay’s tearaway success. Whether or not it can justify its sky-high valuation beyond the current hysteria is another matter altogether.