RealTime IT News

Shares of Flower Retailer Distributed

1-800-Flowers.com, which said a week ago that its fiscal second quarter earnings will be in line with analysts' estimates of 2 to 3 cents per share, today announced a distribution of about five million shares of stock held by Benchmark Capital.

The addition of the shares into the marketplace sent the stock down $2.08 in mid-morning trading to $15.30.

Benchmark, a California-based venture capital firm, made the distribution (all of its 1-800-Florwers.com stock) to more than 100 limited partners in the Benchmark Capital funds and Benchmark's general partners, increasing the number of 1-800-Flowers.com shares in the marketplace to about 19 million.

Benchmark Capital acquired the shares on May 20, 1999 in a private transaction just prior to the August initial public offering of the multi-channel flower and gift retailer.

"As we stated in our press release last week, we continue to be pleased with our operating performance and we remain focused on growing our business cost effectively and thereby building long-term shareholder value," said Jim McCann, CEO of Westbury, N.Y.-based 1-800-Flowers.com. "We believe the Benchmark distribution will provide long-term benefits for our shareholders by increasing liquidity in the marketplace."

The company said last week that it expects fiscal second quarter revenue to come in at about $162 million, which would represent a jump of roughly 21 percent from its year-ago total of $134 million. Online sales are forecast at $60.5 million for the period.