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Qurate Retail Shares Trade Higher on Improved Q3 Adjusted EPS

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Shares of TV shopping and online commerce kingpin Qurate Retail traded 10% higher today after the company reported Q3/19 earnings.

This morning before the opening bell, Colorado based video and e-commerce giant Qurate Retail Inc. (QRTEA:NASDAQ), announced third quarter operating results and earnings for the period ending September 30, 2019.

The company reported that for Q3/19, Qurate Retail total revenue decreased 4% to $3.089 billion, compared to $3.321 billion in Q3/18. The firm indicated that eCommerce revenue comprised $1.8 billion or 59% of total revenue.

The firm reported earnings of ($1.85) diluted EPS and $0.42 adjusted diluted EPS for Q3/19, compared to $0.16 and $0.37 respectively in Q3/18.

The company provided a breakdown of revenue by operating division indicating that in Q3/19, QxH revenue decreased 4% to $1.9 billion, QVC International revenue increased 2% to $650 million, Zulily revenue decreased 17% to $359 million, and Cornerstone revenue decreased 2% to $226 million.

Mike George, president and CEO of Qurate Retail, commented, "The third quarter was challenging, with continued sales and Adjusted Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortization (OIBDA) pressure at QxH and Zulily... However, we were pleased to see Cornerstone's continuing operations turn to growth and a further acceleration of growth at QVC International. Despite the sales pressures, we generated strong growth in free cash flow. As we look ahead, we are intensely focused on improving our operating results, accelerating synergy capture and better positioning our companies for a changing retail and media world, while sustaining strong cash flow."

In the release the company reported that in Q3/19 QxH reported sales declines in jewelry, accessories and home, which were partially offset by gains in beauty and apparel.

The firm advised that "for the third quarter of 2019 QVC International constant currency revenue, operating income and Adjusted OIBDA gains were driven by growth primarily in Japan and Germany."

Over the same corresponding period, Qurate advised that Zulily revenue declined primarily due to lower unit volume driven by a decrease in new customers and lower purchasing frequency from existing customers compared to the corresponding periods in the prior year. The company stated that the product categories that led the sales decline were kids' and women's apparel, home and footwear.

Qurate Retail, formerly known as Liberty Interactive Corp., is headquartered in Englewood, Colo. The company is not a household name, but its brands are well known. Qurate is composed of eight leading retail brands: QVC, Home Shopping Network (HSN), Zulily, Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill, Grandin Road and Ryllace. The company refers to the brands collectively as the Qurate Retail Group. The firm notes that all of its brands are dedicated to providing a Third Way to Shop, beyond just transactional ecommerce or traditional brick-and-mortar stores. The company claims that "globally, Qurate Retail Group is #1 in video commerce, reaching approximately 380 million homes worldwide via 15 television networks and multiple ecommerce sites, social pages, mobile apps, print catalogs, and in-store destinations...Qurate Retail Group is among the top 10 ecommerce retailers in North America (according to Internet Retailer) and is a leader in mobile commerce and social commerce." In addition to North America, the company also operates in Europe and Asia.

Qurate has a market cap of about $3.7 billion with approximately 388.6 million shares outstanding and a short interest of around 8.5%. QRTEA shares opened higher today at $9.99 (+0.59, +6.28%) compared to Friday's $9.40 closing price. The stock has traded today between $9.63 and $11.83/share and currently is trading at $10.20 (+0.89, +9.47%).


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