May 14, 2020 / 7:14 AM / 19 days ago posts Q1 loss, sees higher revenue in Q2

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TEL AVIV, May 14 (Reuters) - <WIX.O, which helps small businesses build and operate websites, moved to a net loss in the first quarter due to a jump in expenses, and retracted its 2020 outlook amid COVID-19 uncertainty.

Wix said on Thursday it lost 1 cent per share excluding one-time items in the first three months of the year, compared with earnings of 3 cents a year earlier. Revenue grew 24% to $216 million.

It said that although the company's business improved starting in April, it opted to withdraw its full year estimates. It estimated second-quarter revenue of $231-$233 million for an annual gain of 25-26%.

"We do strongly believe that we have seen a paradigm shift as the speed of businesses moving online has dramatically increased," the company said. "We believe these changes will continue and business will not return to the way it was before."

Israel-based Wix offers free basic features for setting up websites but users must pay for extra services such as shopping carts, individual web addresses and site traffic analysis.

It added 6.9 million registered users in the first quarter to 172 million, while the number of premium subscriptions rose 12% to 4.7 million. (Reporting by Steven Scheer)

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