1-800-Flowers: A Blooming Buy

Covid-19 has been a boon for 1-800-Flowers (FLWS), a leading e-commerce seller of flowers, gourmet snacks and fruit, and candy.

In the June quarter, sales jumped 61% and per-share profits surged 277%. For the September quarter, management targets sales growth of 40% to 45%, fueled by a 70% increase in e-commerce.

In August, the company acquired a leading e-commerce provider of personalized gifts, including digital printing, engraving, and embroidery.

Shares have blossomed in 2020, gaining 74%. Yet the stock has retreated 23% from a recent all-time high, opening an attractive entry point.

To be sure, 1-800 Flowers is a speculative holding, partly because of its large short interest. Investors who sell short borrow a stock and sell it, betting they will buy the stock back later at a lower price.

In addition, the company’s founder and family trusts control most of the voting power. Still, 1-800-Flowers seems capable of climbing at least 15% in the year ahead. The stock is being started as a Buy.

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