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I haven't run a time series to test it, but I've often thought that QVC sales might be a good proxy for changes in GDP, if you exclude items containing gems and precious metals which I understand make up a smaller portion of home shopping TV revenue these days anyway.
So when I read (in Liberty Interactive's Q2 2016 earnings released on Friday) what happened to QVC revenue beginning in early June, and apparently continuing at least through July, it definitely got my attention:
Beginning in early June QVC’s US sales began to experience significant &headwinds, which have continued. The sales declines, as compared to prior periods, have averaged in the mid to high single digit percentages.
QVC has developed many initiatives intended to reverse the negative trends and QVC is optimistic, although there is no guarantee, that these actions will have a positive effect.
However, even if these initiatives begin to reverse these trends, it is believed that QVC’s US net revenue and adjusted OIBDA will likely experience negative growth rates for the third quarter.
Now that's not apocalyptic stuff, buts its certainly a sharp, sudden downtown. And QVC really didn't try to single out specific factors, indicating it might be across the board.
Shares of Liberty Interactive Corp. QVC Group (NASDAQ: QVCA) closed down more than 21 percent Friday afternoon.
QVC Group revenue for the second quarter increased 21 percent to $2.4 billion, but much of that growth came from of zulily's contribution. Q2 2016 results are compared to Q2 2015, prior to the acquisition of zulily.
QVC US revenue grew by 2% and operating income by 4%.
zulily revenue grew 23% to $366 million and operating loss was $43 million, mostly
due to an acquisition-related purchase accounting adjustment. zulily adjusted OIBDA(2) grew 121% to $31 million.
But remember, the sharp downturn began when Q2 was two thirds over.