Overstock Changes Strategy To Stem Losses

The past fiscal year was challenging for Overstock.com, which advanced then reversed a plan to push sales over profits, resulting in a wider net loss. 

The company in the fiscal year reported a net loss of $206.1 million, or $6.83 per diluted share, versus a net loss of $109.9 million, or $4.28 per diluted share, in the fiscal year previous.

Retail revenue increased to $1.8 billion from $1.73 billion in the fiscal year before while, at the same time, net revenue gained to $1.82 billion from $1.74 billion. Operating loss was $217.2 million versus an operating loss of $46.6 million in the year-prior fiscal year.

In the fourth quarter, Overstock posted a company net loss of $42.3 million, or $1.39 per diluted share, versus a net loss of $95.7 million, or $3.72 per diluted share, in the year-earlier quarter.

Retail revenue slipped to $446.7 million from $452 million, in the year-previous quarter, while, simultaneously, net revenue slid to $452.5 million from $456.3 million. Operating loss was $48.4 million versus operating loss of $22.7 million, in the year-before period.

In a note to shareholders on the company’s initiatives, Patrick Byrne, Overstock founder and CEO, said, “Our retail arm lost money last year because I gunned things in an attempt to create a conventional high-growth/money losing e-commerce business, but the losses were nauseating, and we reverted back to the philosophy of profitability on which we built Overstock: As a result, in 2019, retail will return to profitability, generating a positive operating cash flow of [about]$10 million.”