The Market Looks Past 1-800-Flowers.com Inc's Loss -- So Can You

By Markets Fool.com

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

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What: Shares of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM rose as much as 21% on Tuesday morning (they were up 10% at 11:50 a.m. EDT) after the company came in ahead of Wall Street estimates with regard to revenues and earnings per share in its fiscal third quarter and, crucially, lifted its earnings per share guidance for its full fiscal year.

So what: Here's how the numbers shake out:

Actual

Analysts' Consensus Estimate

Q1 Revenues

$232.2 million

$230.4 million

Q1 Earnings per Share*

($0.13)

($0.19)

Company Guidance

Analysts' Consensus Estimate

2015 Revenues

>$1.1 billion

$1.14 billion

2015 EPS*

>$0.50

$0.47

*Adjusted. Source: Thomson Financial Network, PROS Holdings

The quarterly loss must be understood in the context of a business that is highly seasonal the earnings release is littered with references to this (although one must remain skeptical, as managements often abuse this phenomenon as an excuse for poor performance).

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In this instance, while the newly acquired Harry & David's business (part of the Gourmet Foods and Gift Baskets segment) contributed significantly to revenue growth, its own seasonality dragged the company's bottom line into the red. Excluding Harry & David, 1-800-Flowers.com eked out adjusted earnings per share on a diluted basis of $0.01.

Now what: Despite the accounting loss, 1-800-Flowers.com remained profitable on a free cash flow basis (Foolish investors know that free cash flow trumps net income.) This looks like a decent (though not outstanding) business, with a narrow competitive advantage. Furthermore, the shares appear to be reasonably priced. Although they're not the sort of shares I would own (my preference is for outstanding franchises), I think shareholders can continue holding 1-800-Flowers.com.

The article The Market Looks Past 1-800-Flowers.com Inc's Loss -- So Can You originally appeared on Fool.com.

Alex Dumortier, CFA has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.