3. XO Group
Internet company XO Group (XOXO) was started in the mid-1990s by David Liu and Carley Roney, a husband and wife team that saw a big opportunity for a wedding planning resource. The company's flagship brand, The Knot, has expanded to include resources for new homebuyers and parents through its two other brands, The Nest and The Bump. The company also includes WeddingChannel.com, which it acquired in 2006, and its wedding site in China, ljie.com.
The company's three lines of business are - merchandising, which includes the publication of books, videos, wedding planners and other e-commerce, ad sales and sponsorships, and registry services.While the New York-based company faces competition from social media sites like Facebook (FB) and Pinterest, as well as more direct competitors like Martha Stewart Omnimedia (MSO), its flagship site, The Knot, has strong brand awareness. XO Group's most recent quarterly performance report said the company posted a profit of $1.7 million, or 7 cents per diluted share on revenue of $30.3 million, beating bottom line estimates, but falling short on top line revenue. "We are pleased with the strength in our advertising businesses this quarter, with strength across all platforms online and offline. However, we believe we still have a lot of opportunity to drive total revenue growth," CEO David Liu said in the earnings release. "Our teams are working tirelessly to create new products, tools, and services across our brands and platforms. To this end, we recently launched our mobile optimized e-commerce site, and in the coming months we plan to roll out additional products which will connect our brides, newlyweds, and new parents with the relevant retailers and vendors during the critical 'five years of firsts' life stages." Shares of XO Group have risen 20% in 2013.
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