Why LightInTheBox Shares Got Walloped

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.

What: Shares of Chinese online retailer LightInTheBox (NYSE: LITB  ) plummeted 37% today after its quarterly results and outlook missed Wall Street expectations.

So what: The stock has soared since its June IPO on high growth expectations, but today's Q2 results -- EPS of $0.10 topped estimates but revenue of $72.2 million missed by about $4 million -- coupled with downbeat guidance for Q3 is forcing Mr. Market to quickly sober up. Management blamed the disappointing report simply on its product mix -- too much focus on higher-end apparel -- but Wall Street is, instead, reading it as a signal of slowing growth going forward.

Now what: For the current quarter, management now sees revenue of $68 million to $70 million, well below the consensus of $78.5 million. "We are confident we will be able to further expand our online retail market position by delivering better customer value proposition and shopping experience," Chairman and CEO Alan Guo reassured investors. "[W]e are confident we can deliver balanced growth and higher levels of profitability in the quarters ahead." Given LightInTheBox's still very speculative nature, however, I wouldn't be so quick to bet on it.  

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