* Q2 revenue up 82 pct to $33.9 mln vs $31.8 mln forecast
* Q2 loss/shr ex-items $0.27 vs $0.31 loss/shr forecast
* Raises 2014 revenue estimate to $136-$138 mln
* Sees Q3 revenue of $35-$36 mln
* Shares rise 3.5 pct to $17.97 on Nasdaq
(Adds share reaction)
By Steven Scheer
JERUSALEM, Aug 6 Wix.com, which helps
small businesses build and operate websites, reported a smaller
loss than expected in the second quarter and raised its 2014
outlook as more firms convert to paid services from free ones.
Israel-based Wix, which raised more than $122 million in an
initial public offering on the Nasdaq last November, said its
quarterly loss excluding one-off items narrowed to 27 cents per
share from 72 cents a share in the same period last year, as
revenue surged 82 percent to $33.9 million.
Analysts were expecting Wix to lose 31 cents per share on
revenue of $31.8 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"We anticipate growth will continue to accelerate," Chief
Financial Officer Lior Shemesh told Reuters on Wednesday.
Wix had 50.3 million registered users as of June 30 and
added 110,000 premium subscriptions in the second quarter to
reach 1.019 million - up 62 percent over the past year.
The company works on a so-called freemium model where basic
features for setting up websites are free but users need to pay
for extra services such as shopping carts, individual web
addresses or site traffic analysis.
Company officials believe small businesses will pay for more
tools and Wix has responded by adding more premium products.
On Wednesday, it launched WixHotels, a booking engine aimed
at hotel and bed and breakfast owners.
PROFITS TO FOLLOW
Wix raised its full-year revenue forecast to $136-$138
million from $130-$133 million, which would give a 69-71 percent
increase over 2013. It was the second straight quarter the
company has raised its forecast. For the third quarter, Wix
estimates revenue will be $35-$36 million.
Wix plans to expand its global footprint further into Latin
America and in Russia, Eastern Europe and Asia-Pacific in 2015.
"The most important thing is to take more market share and
to increase the number of customers," Shemesh said. "Growth is
the most important thing. Profitability will follow later, big
"We will enter 2015 with a very solid financial status,"
Shemesh said, adding that the company would provide 2015
estimates when it releases fourth-quarter results.
Wix's Nasdaq-listed shares rose 3.5 percent to $17.97 on
Wednesday but they are down more than 30 percent so far in 2014.
Nir Zohar, Wix's president, said there was plenty of room to
grow since the company still had less than 1 percent of the
market, but most players have small shares. As a result, Wix is
not active in the mergers and acquisition market.
"We are not looking to be bought," Zohar said. "We took the
company public to build a great business ... At this stage, the
aim is to grow."
He said that rather than spend on an acquisition, it was
more cost effective to market the company online. Still, he said
Wix was looking at new technologies and complimentary products.
(Reporting by Steven Scheer; editing by David Clarke and Louise