LightInTheBox shares tank as weak wedding dress sales weigh on forecast

Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:57am EDT

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(Reuters) - Shares of LightInTheBox Holding Co Ltd (LITB.N) fell 39 percent on Tuesday, after the Chinese online retailer forecast current-quarter revenue below analysts' estimates as sales of its wedding and prom dresses remain weak.

The company, known for selling customizable wedding dresses, forecast third-quarter revenue of $68 million-$70 million on Monday, below the average analyst estimate of $75.8 million.

"We concluded that we placed too much emphasis on higher-end (apparel) and not enough focus on lower-end products that traditionally sell very well," Chief Executive Quji Guo said on a post-earnings call with analysts on Tuesday.

The company said apparel sales fell 5.4 percent in the quarter ended June 30. Guo attributed the decline also to drastic price cuts by offline wedding retailers.

The company, however, said it expected the wedding and prom dresses business to recover by next year.

"We expect to correct our issues in time for the next wedding and prom season in the first and second quarters of 2014," Guo said.

LightInTheBox sells apparel, small accessories, gadgets and other items through its websites and competes with industry behemoth Alibaba.

The company's shares were down at $11.74 in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange. The company went public in June at an initial public offering price of $9.50 per share. Since then, the stock has risen 66 percent to Monday's close.

(Reporting By Maria Ajit Thomas in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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