What happened

Shares of floral and gifting specialist FTD (NASDAQ:FTD) shed 13% last month, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

FTD Chart

FTD data by YCharts.

The decline added to sharp paper losses for investors; so far this year the stock is down by more than a quarter.

So what

May's swoon came after FTD posted first-quarter results that showed a business in retreat. Sales slipped thanks to a decline in order volume that swamped a small uptick in average spending per order. Management warned that the trends will require bold, and likely expensive, changes to address. "FTD has many positive assets to build upon," CEO John Walden said in a press release. "However," he explained, the company "continues to be challenged by historical underinvestment."

A florist prepares a bouquet.

Image source: Getty Images.

The executive team believes the only way to turn operating trends higher again is through steady improvements in the customer experience. FTD also must do a better, more efficient job at acquiring new customers, they said.

Now what

Walden and his team are conducting a thorough review of their strategic options that they'll share with investors as soon as it's complete. In the meantime, FTD is expecting flat sales for the full 2017 year. That might sound like good news, but the company also predicts its adjusted profitability will decline sharply -- falling to as low as 8% of sales from 11% last year.

The difference can be explained mainly by the higher marketing spending that's required to protect order volumes. Given that demand weakness, it's possible shareholders will see further profit-crimping spending initiatives in the future.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.