Canadian online retailer Overstock.com said it would counter its significant losses for 2018 with a return to profits this year in its Q4 earnings report released on March 18.
Overstock, which is famous as being one of the first major retailers to accept Bitcoin, saw profitability dive through last year as a result of a change of strategy, something CEO Patrick Byrne says he will now reverse.
“Our retail arm lost money last year because I gunned things in an attempt to create a conventional high-growth/money losing e-commerce business, but the losses were nauseating and we reverted back to the philosophy of profitability on which we built Overstock”, he wrote in a letter to shareholders. Byrne added:
“As a result, in 2019 Retail will return to profitability, generating a positive operating cash flow ≥ $10M.”
As part of the Q4 breakdown, Byrne drew specific attention to Overstock’s tZERO cryptocurrency token platform, which launched in January.
Pre-tax losses for tZERO were $12.6 million in Q4, but the potential of the new platform has Byrne unruffled by the figures.
“Our blockchain projects are some of the most significant and cutting edge in the world, and we are just reaching the point where our products are being introduced to the public. In particular, tZERO brought live a security token trading platform”, he added in the shareholder letter.
Earlier in March, tZERO’s major backers announced they were significantly cutting investment in the project.
Q4 nonetheless delivered total profits in excess of $80 million, with Overstock appearing to broadly insulate itself from the cryptocurrency market downturn which accelerated during that period.
As Cointelegraph reported, mining entities in particular bore the brunt of Bitcoin’s price drop from around $6,500 to $3,100 in November, with hardware manufacturer Nvidia’s earnings report painting a decidedly mixed picture.