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RealTime IT News

They're Betting on Flower Power

1-800-Flowers.com, which just last week launched a new service that lets customers create their own greeting cards, today reaffirmed its financial guidance calling for fiscal first quarter revenues of $78 million to $79 million and an EBITDA loss of $6 million to $7 million.

The floral and gift company said that it was maintaining its guidance for full-fiscal year 2002, which calls for revenue growth of 16-to-20 percent and EBITDA $8 million to $10 million.

The Westbury, N.Y.-based company said that as noted in previous guidance, its fiscal 2002 first quarter, absent major holiday sales, is traditionally the lowest in terms of revenues.

The company's stock is trading in the $10 range, down from about $12.50 before the events of Sept. 11. Revenues for fiscal 2001 were $442.2 million, up from $379.5 million in the prior fiscal year. The company lost 64 cents a share for fiscal 2001, but actually broke even in the last quarter.

Analysts polled by First Call are expecting a loss of 20 cents a share for the fiscal first quarter and a loss of 23 cents a share for fiscal 2002.

Clearly wary of a slowdown in consumer spending, the company said in a statement that it is "carefully monitoring" consumer demand for a clearer picture of the potential impact on anticipated results for the fiscal second quarter, which contains the holiday shopping period.

CEO Jim McCann said the company's "proven flexible business model ... allows for same-day and next-day delivery of most of our ... gifts without the burden of significant investments in inventories or distribution facilities."

The new create-a-card service, powered by Touchpoint Inc.'s CardStore online solution, lets 1-800-Flowers.com customers create their own greeting cards, postcards and photo cards.

Touchpoint provides next-day custom printing and the convenience of having the cards addressed, stamped and mailed direct to the recipients or the customer. Financial arrangements between the companies were not disclosed.