February 6, 2014 / 1:00 AM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 2-Shutterfly forecasts bigger-than-expected loss, shares fall

* Forecasts 1st-qtr adj loss/shr of $0.86-$0.92 vs est loss $0.42

* Expects revenue of $132 mln-$135 mln vs est of $138.4 mln

* Shares fall as much as 11 pct (Adds details from conference call)

By Sampad Patnaik

Feb 5 (Reuters) - Online photo-sharing services provider Shutterfly Inc forecast a current-quarter loss that is far bigger than analysts had projected, and the company’s shares fell as much as 11 percent in extended trading on Wednesday.

The company also said profit fell 18 percent during the fourth quarter that ended in December, adding that it expects operating expenses to rise this year.

Shutterfly forecast a current-quarter adjusted loss of 86-92 cents per share, far above the 42 cents loss analysts on average were expecting, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company said it expects revenue of $132 million to $135 million, missing the average analyst estimate of $138.4 million.

Shutterfly said it expects higher operating expenses in 2014 as it invests in building infrastructure and consolidating four facilities that handled its manufacturing and customer service operations in Arizona into one unit.

The facilities did not have scope for expansion and consolidation would help in future expansion plans, the company said on a conference call with analysts.

“We anticipate that this facility consolidation project will result in modest incremental operating expenses during the year,” Chief Executive Jeffrey Housenbold said on the call.

The company’s operating expenses were $392 million in 2013.

Shutterfly gets most of its revenue from selling photo books, greeting cards and stationery from users’ photos. It competes with Hewlett-Packard’s Snapfish and Facebook Inc.

Shutterfly’s fourth-quarter profit fell to $43.6 million, or $1.10 per share, from $53.0 million, or $1.40 per share, a year earlier.

Operating expenses rose 27 percent to $141.5 million.

On an adjusted basis, Shutterfly earned $1.20 per share, beating analysts’ average estimate of $1.07 per share.

Revenue in the holiday shopping quarter - which accounts for about half of the company’s total revenue - rose 17 percent to $410.8 million, above analysts’ expectation of $406.3 million.

Shares of the Redwood City, California-based company closed at $49.67 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday. (Reporting by Sampad Patnaik in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Ken Wills)

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