Web company Wix.com downgrades outlook on growing COVID uncertainty

JERUSALEM, Aug.11 (Reuters) – Wix.com (WIX.O), which helps small businesses build and operate websites, predicts solid growth this year, but lowered its revenue outlook slightly citing a higher great uncertainty for the second half of 2021 linked to the coronavirus pandemic.

Israel-based Wix capitalized on the shift to online sales last year, but the Delta variant is once again increasing infections despite mass vaccinations, raising fears of further lockdowns that could disrupt business commercial in the world.

The company on Wednesday reported a quarterly net loss of 28 cents per share excluding special items, with revenue up 34% to $ 316 million. Wix reported a loss of 26 cents a year ago.

Analysts had forecast a loss of 38 cents and $ 312 million in revenue, according to Refinitiv.

“There is great uncertainty among our users,” CFO Lior Shemesh told Reuters. He said business owners were “puzzled” over whether to strengthen their online presence. “We saw a drop in online traffic from mid-May. “

The Nasdaq-listed company, whose shares have risen about 4% so far in 2021, expects third-quarter revenue of $ 311 million to $ 317 million. Wix has lowered its full-year revenue outlook to $ 1.255-1.27 billion, from $ 1.28 to $ 1.29 billion, below the $ 1.29 billion expected by analysts, but is targeting still revenue growth close to 30% achieved in 2020.

“We’re still seeing very high premium conversions, very high retention and we’re still seeing an increase in ARPU (Average Revenue Per User),” Shemesh said, adding that the wider range reflected greater uncertainty for the user. rest of this year.

“Unfortunately, we thought it would be higher than that. The uncertainty is quite great.”

Wix said it could hit the high end with more new users and subscription conversions, while the low end reflected a scenario with fewer new user additions and some planned partnerships that did not result in this. year.

Wix also said that the printing and marketing company Vistaprint chose Wix to build and manage its websites and related products. He didn’t offer any financial details, but Shemesh said the deal would add hundreds of thousands of premium subscriptions. Wix had 5.5 million premium subscriptions at the end of 2020.

Reporting by Steven Scheer Additional reporting by Ari Rabinovitch Editing by Tomasz Janowski

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