Floral and gifting giant FTD Companies (NASDAQ:FTD) last week posted second-quarter earnings results that included sales and profit growth across each of its main business lines. The news sent shares 6% higher immediately following the announcement. But the stock has trickled back to flat since then, perhaps because of a downgraded outlook from management.
CEO Robert Apatoff said in a conference call with investors that he was "pleased" with the second-quarter performance. Sales rose in each of FTD's three main business divisions: e-commerce, florist, and international. Management also made progress at slicing costs and integrating the Provide Commerce business into the fold.
Strong operating results
As for the operations, FTD saw a spike in competition from rival online sellers around the Mother's Day holiday this year. And that competitive activity pinched results: Sales were down year over year on the key flower and gift-giving holiday.
But that's where the company's strategy of focusing on everyday gifting occasions paid off. Growth in categories like sympathy cards helped e-commerce revenue post a gain despite the Mother's Day drop.
In fact, sales rebounded from last quarter's 3% fall to post a 2% rise this quarter. And customers spent more per order, marking the 15th time in the last 18 quarters that average order value has marched higher.
FTD's network of florists contributed 8% more revenue per member, which helped push sales in that division up 4% to $43 million. The international segment also showed strong improvement. Revenue, order volume, and average order value all ticked higher as profitability expanded to 11.3% of sales from 9.9% a year ago.
Integration wins and losses
At the same time, the company is still digesting its acquisition of Provide Commerce, the floral and gifting company it purchased late last year. That business logged a roughly 12% quarterly sales drop to $197 million. Competition around Mother's Day again played a role in the slip.
However, profitability spiked higher as FTD worked to bring the division's spending priorities in line with those of the broader company. Management made huge cuts, including by closing two distribution centers, all with the aim of "better aligning Provide Commerce's spending with FTD's historical focus on profitability and cash flow generation," Apatoff said.
It worked. Provide Commerce generated $26 million, or 87% higher profit this quarter. Operating margin more than doubled to 13% of sales.
Lowered sales outlook
This quarter's strong earnings gain led management to increase their profitability forecast -- from as high as 9% of sales three months ago to as high as 10% now. But management also lowered their revenue forecast for the full year. Apatoff and his team now expect to see a 2% to 4% sales drop whereas in May they had targeted "flat" annual sales compared to 2014.
The difference apparently was driven by weakness around the major gifting holidays like Valentine's Day and Mother's Day, which have become tougher for FTD to dominate. But investors should still expect to see sales growth in other areas of the business this year, along with more profit gains ahead through the Provide Commerce integration.