Analysts expect that one of the top purveyors of gifts, 1-800-FLOWERS (FLWS), will report modest but consistent growth in the first quarter of fiscal year 2014, a signal of what is to come for the company as the economy continues to improve.
1-800-FLOWERS is one of the world’s largest florist and gift shops, and the stock currently stands at $5.63 a share. Though that is below its high of $7.17 this summer, analysts remain positive about the company.
On average, analysts expect revenue to be $123 million, up from last year’s revenue of $120 million, an increase of 2.5 percent, according to Yahoo! Finance.
“I’m positive about the future for the company and the subsequent quarters,” said Michael Kupinski, a researcher at Noble Financial. “In my view, the company has significant margin improvement prospects.”
This month, the investment company Brean Capital upgraded the stock to “buy” from “hold,” due to its belief that 1-800-FLOWERS will be able to expand into the lucrative gift basket market.
Analysts will be looking to see how strong those prospects are, which is part of the company’s vision to become a one-stop shop for all gift giving, increasing the offerings from just flowers to edible arrangements, cookies and chocolates. Edible arrangements are especially important, since that market represents a $16 billion gifting market. By comparison, the flower business only consists of an $8 billion market.
As competition from Amazon.com increases, analysts will look for strength of 1-800-FLOWERS’ BloomNet business, which is its network of local florists, and makes up 32 percent of its business. It is hoped the revenue from BloomNet will improve as the number of florists across the United States continues to fall, increasing consumer reliance on 1-800-FLOWERS.
“As the local aspect becomes more important, we’re well positioned because we still have our retail flower shops though our franchise organization and BloomNet wire service,” said 1-800-FLOWERS president Christopher G. McCann in an interview posted to the company’s website.
The health of 1-800-FLOWERS finances are expected to be seen in the results of the company paying off its debts in the last year and the sale of Winetasting.com, a wine delivery business that was holding the company back due to the logistical strain, and subsequent cost, associated with the shipping restrictions placed on alcohol in different states.
Looking ahead, analysts will continue to watch consumer spending, which is closely tied to gift giving and has been on the rise, though it did fall in October amid the government shutdown and general unease about the state of the economy.
“The company indicated that they are not seeing any fundamental weakness related to the government shutdown,” Kupinski said, and that while the upcoming holiday season may be a little soft, “the company has significant margin improvement prospects.”