Here's the key excerpt from FTD's December 29th negative pre-announcement press release (emphasis added):
DOWNERS GROVE, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 29, 2005--FTD Group, Inc. (NYSE:FTD), a leading provider of floral services and products and a direct marketer of flowers and specialty gifts, today announced that its Consumer Business segment, which is comprised of FTD.COM, experienced a decrease of approximately 4% in total orders during the 2005 Christmas season (December 1, 2005 - December 25, 2005), compared to the same period of the prior year. "While October and November order volume growth was within management's expectations, we experienced a highly competitive Christmas season within our Consumer Business segment. During the Christmas season, certain online search engine costs increased significantly over the prior year, and as such we made the decision not to pursue the resulting high cost order volume." stated Michael J. Soenen, President and CEO of FTD Group, Inc. "As a result, despite this slight decline in order volume for the Christmas season, we are reiterating our EBITDA and EPS targets for the year. Further, we have begun making additional investments in our marketing staff to help build a more diversified marketing portfolio. We believe these initiatives will enable us to regain our competitive position in the marketplace and continue to deliver long term bottom line results for our shareholders."
Full press release here.