November 1, 2012 / 10:31 PM / in 6 years

OpenTable trims full-year revenue forecast, shares down

(Reuters) - OpenTable Inc OPEN.O trimmed the upper end of its revenue forecast for the full year, saying superstorm Sandy was likely to reduce fourth-quarter reservation revenue from North America.

Shares of the company fell 4 percent in after-market trading on Thursday after closing at $47.36 on the Nasdaq.

The company, which helps users reserve tables at restaurants through its website and mobile apps, narrowed its full-year revenue forecast to between $160.2 million and $161.8 million from the previous range of $160 million to $164 million.

“Through the first three weeks of October, the industry diner count declined almost 1 percent year over year, and we expect this trend to worsen as Hurricane Sandy weighs on the industry,” Chief Financial Officer Duncan Robertson said on a conference call. Sandy struck the U.S. east coast on October 29.

The superstorm interrupted operations at many of the company’s restaurant clients, primarily from Washington D.C. to Boston, and diner counts have dropped dramatically there in the last few days, Robertson said.

OpenTable’s revenue includes monthly subscription charges from restaurants and a fee for each guest seated through online reservation. North American reservation revenue would be lower by about $500,000 in the current quarter due to the storm, the company said.

Nearly 15,000 of its restaurant clients were offline as of Tuesday, it said. OpenTable had 18,975 restaurant customers in North America at the end of the third quarter.

The company, which was able to beat analysts’ estimates for its third quarter profit, raised its earnings estimate for the full year, forecasting an adjusted per-share profit of between $1.64 and $1.68, up from the $1.54 to $1.66 forecast earlier.

Third-quarter adjusted net income of 42 cents per share was higher than analysts’ average estimate of 36 cents per share.

OpenTable said it plans to increase its focus on mobile devices in the coming months and expects the integration of its app within Siri, Apple (AAPL.O) iPhone’s voice-activated personal assistant, to help boost mobile reservations.

Third-quarter net income rose to $5.9 million, or 26 cents per share, from $4.1 million, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier.

OpenTable, founded in 1998 as a restaurant reservation service in San Francisco, said revenue rose 16 percent to $39.7 million. Analysts too expected $39.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Number of seated diners rose 26 percent during the quarter to 27.4 million.

Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Sreejiraj Eluvangal

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