U.S. Markets closed

Overstock.com's 1Q profit blows past expectations

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Overstock.com Inc.'s shares soared Thursday after it reported that its first-quarter net income nearly tripled, as consumers spent more at its online discount site.

The Salt Lake City-based company earned $7.7 million, or 32 cents per share, for the quarter that ended March 31. That compared with earnings of $2.7 million, or 12 cents per share, in the first quarter last year.

Overstock's revenue increased 19 percent to $312 million from $262.4 million, as consumers spent 21 percent more with each transaction, although the number of orders was down.

The quarter's results far exceeded the 13 cents per share earnings on revenue of $282.3 million that analysts, on average, anticipated, according to FactSet.

Overstock did have a credit of $432,000 in the most recent quarter related to use of IT data center space and a charge of $98,000 in the prior quarter, also tied to restructuring and ceasing the use of some office space.

Investors seemed cheered by the improving sales trends and sent shares soaring more than 30 percent to $14.91 by midday. Its stock still remains below its 52-week trading high of $17.65, which it hit in January.

Overstock sells furniture, electronics, clothing, jewelry and other items on its namesake site. It also owns Worldstock.com, a fair trade website that sells artisan-crafted products from around the world.