Mar 17, 2022 (Baystreet.ca via COMTEX) -- Warby Parker /zigman2/quotes/229389137/composite WRBY +2.30% shares sank in early trading Thursday after the eyewear retailer reported continued losses and said its sales were hurt during the holiday quarter due to the omicron variant of COVID-19, which kept people out of stores.
The company also issued a weaker-than-anticipated forecast for 2022 sales. Warby Parker sees annual revenue ranging between $650 and $660 million. Analysts were looking for $687.7 million.
Management said the effects of omicron resulted in nearly $5 million of lost sales in the fourth quarter, and it projects losing more than $15 million in the first quarter, as fewer customers came in for eye exams and to try on new eyeglasses in early January.
Warby Parker booked a net loss in the three months ended Dec. 31 of $45.9 million, or 41 cents a share, compared with a loss of $4.3 million, or 8 cents a share, a year earlier. It attributed the wider losses to a $31.6 million increase in stock-based compensation expense and other related employer payroll taxes.
Revenue grew to $132.9 million from $112.8 million a year ago.
Warby Parker blamed the spread of the omicron variant for hurting sales in the final weeks of December, which coincided with typical peak demand in the optical industry as consumers use their final flexible spending dollars before the New Year.
Analysts were expecting Warby Parker to report sales of $133 million in its fourth quarter on a loss of nine cents per share
WRBY shares faltered $1.42, or 5.3%, to begin the session at $25.40.
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