FTD Companies Inc. Earnings Hit By Weak Valentines Day Sales

By Markets Fool.com

FTD Companies' stock rose last week after the floral and gifting giant posted its first-quarter financial results. Despite the jump, the timing of the Valentine's Day holiday this year pushed sales lower, and rising costs related to a recent acquisition caused a huge drop in profits.

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Here's a big-picture look at how the headline results stacked up against the prior year.

Metric 2014 Q1 2015 Q1
Revenue $190 million $185 million
Earnings $0.50 per share $0.07 per share

2015 Q1 revenue doesn't include sales tied to the newly acquired Provide Commerce business. Source: Company financial filings.

Valentine's Day slump
Sales slipped in all four of FTD's business segments, led by a consumer division that suffered a 3% drop in order volume. Management blamed the lower volume on the calendar. Valentine's Day, one of FTD's biggest revenue-generating days of the year, fell on a Saturday this year as opposed to Friday in 2014. The unfavorable Saturday timing also hurt results in the florist, international, and newly created Provide Commerce divisions.

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Source: FTD.

Meanwhile, profits dove lower by 86% as the company worked to digest its huge Provide Commerce purchase that closed at the end of 2015. The good news is that the business nearly doubled quarterly sales.

However, operating expenses more than doubled while interest costs rose from $1.2 million to $2.3 million. As a result, net income tanked from $10 million a year ago to $2 million this quarter. Management is busy working to cut costs out of the new business and raise its profitability toward the company average. CEO Robert Apatoff said in a conference call with investors, "We are continuing to implement new processes and financial disciplines across the [Provide Commerce] business to focus on profitable growth."

Cash flow and 2015 forecast
The company managed some key wins in the first quarter. For example, FTD posted a solid improvement in its customers' spending: Average order value rose 3.3% to $71.39. And operating income in the florist segment hit a post-recession high, with average revenue per florist member jumping 7% to $3,619. Overall cash flow improved dramatically reaching $22 million from the prior year's $14 million result. "Our first-quarter financial performance exceeded our expectations," CEO Robert Apatoff said in a press release.

As for 2015, management affirmed its full year outlook that calls for the rest of the year to look similar to the quarter that just closed. Sales, excluding the Provide Commerce results, are forecast to be "flat to down modestly" compared to last year's $1.3 billion. And adjusted earnings should be roughly equal to 2014's $82 million profit gain.

The article FTD Companies Inc. Earnings Hit By Weak Valentines Day Sales originally appeared on Fool.com.

Demitrios Kalogeropoulos owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and FTD Companies. 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.