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UPDATE 2-Harsh winter, pandemic dampen Poshmark's first-quarter sales forecast

(Adds executive comment from earnings call; Updates shares)

March 11 (Reuters) - Poshmark Inc on Thursday forecast first-quarter revenue below expectations, saying the online marketplace for secondhand goods struggled with deliveries due to a harsh winter and restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shares of Poshmark, which went public earlier this year, declined 15% in extended trading. They had gained about 42% as of Thursday’s close from their initial public offering price.

Poshmark has benefited from a growing interest in secondhand online shopping, as the economic fallout of the pandemic that ravaged businesses and led to massive job and pay cuts made people more cautious about their spending.

The company said strong demand continued into January, but February sales shrank in certain states due to a severe winter storm that engulfed Texas and nearby states. It also blamed the pandemic for causing delays in delivery of certain orders.

“Some of our customers had their package delayed by a weekend, some had their package arrive four weeks late. So we had a higher than usual cancellation rate,” Chief Financial Officer Anan Kashyap said on an earnings call.

However, Poshmark expects its sales to bounce back as more people venture out and look for new styles for summer.

Chief Executive Officer Manish Chandra said searches for summer dresses on the platform surged 200% and those of bathing suits rose 150%. “That tells me that people are ready to go out,” he told Reuters in an interview.

The California-based company forecast first-quarter revenue between $75.5 million and $77.5 million, implying a growth of 32% to 36% from a year earlier. Analysts were expecting revenue of $79.2 million.

Net revenue jumped about 27% to $69.3 million in the quarter ended Dec. 31 from a year earlier, compared with estimates of $68 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. (Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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