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Overstock logo

Overstock logo

Although bitcoin is unlikely to have played a major role in Overstock.com’s significant first-quarter earnings uptick, it’s good to know that one of the rare major online retailers to advocate for virtual currencies seems to be doing just fine. Overstock’s quarterly report was published today, showing a strong 9% growth in both revenue and gross profit. The company brought in $341.2 million this quarter, compared to $312 million last year.

Bitcoin’s role in that profit is tiny. Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne stated in March that he expected bitcoin purchases to bring in between $10 and $15 million in 2014. With gross profits rising at Overstock to $64 million in Q1, bitcoin users’ contribution to that number is likely in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

This doesn’t mean that bitcoin isn’t playing a role in Overstock’s business plan, however. In the quarterly report, bitcoin regulation was mentioned as one part of a larger discussion about Securities and Exchange Commission filings. With regulation on virtual currencies increasing, Overstock may be one of the first major companies to face bitcoin-related compliance issues with both the SEC and the IRS.

One other possible bitcoin connection to Overstock’s rapid rise in sales could be the media boost in January and February the company received following the bitcoin announcement. Byrne and his company was profiled by many high-visibility publications and media outlets thanks to the decision.

Even with the boost in earnings news, Overstock still missed its earnings estimate of $344.9 million, and the stock price fell nearly 7%.

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