An example of a new CafePress product. | Courtesy of CafePress

CafePress shares plunged Wednesday morning after the Louisville-based customizable gift company said that first-quarter earnings fell — in part because there’s no presidential election this year.

By midmorning, shares traded for $2.52, down 11 percent. The online retailer had posted earnings Tuesday evening after markets closed. CafePress sells more than a billion customizable items, from T-shirts to watches and shower curtains.

First-quarter net revenue, at $18.3 million, fell 1.2 percent compared to the first quarter of last year, while cost of sales increased 6.4 percent, to $11.3 million. Gross profit, at nearly $7 million, fell 11.6 percent.

CafePress booked a net loss of $3.4 million, 13 percent worse than the loss the company reported a year earlier. The loss per diluted share, at 20 cents, worsened by 2 cents.

Fred Durham

CEO Fred Durham said in the earnings report that revenue fell “due to the combination of an increasingly competitive online retail environment and more challenging comparisons from the presidential primary season a year ago.”

Durham also noted that for the third consecutive month, CafePress saw a year-over-year increase in total orders.

In addition, he said, the company is expanding its product line and “continuing to optimize the business and our technology.” A spokeswoman told Insider that the company recently released new mugs and phone cases, including for the latest iPhone and Galaxy gadgets.

Shares had spiked in early March, to $3.26, when the online retailer reported rising fourth-quarter revenue and said that it had completed a “transformational” year. Since then, the share price has fallen by nearly a quarter. During the same stretch, the S.&P. 500 index has posted a slight gain.

This story had been updated.

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Boris Ladwig
Boris Ladwig is a reporter with more than 20 years of experience and has won awards from multiple journalism organizations in Indiana and Kentucky for feature series, news, First Amendment/community affairs, nondeadline news, criminal justice, business and investigative reporting. As part of The (Columbus, Indiana) Republic’s staff, he also won the Kent Cooper award, the top honor given by the Associated Press Managing Editors for the best overall news writing in the state. A graduate of Indiana State University, he is a soccer aficionado (Borussia Dortmund and 1. FC Köln), singer and travel enthusiast who has visited countries on five continents. He speaks fluent German, rudimentary French and bits of Spanish, Italian, Khmer and Mandarin.