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February 15, 2006

No Celebration

Posted by Monica Soto at 6:02 PM

At Celebrate Express, there was little cause to party today..

The company announced the resignation of its founder and chief executive, on the same day it significantly revised its earnings forecast for the fiscal year.

Celebrate Express named finance vice president Darin White interim chief executive while it searches for a permanent replacement for founder and CEO Mike Jewell.

Jewell will remain on the company's board of directors. Neither Jewell nor the company returned phone calls.

The company, which operates the online retail sites BirthdayExpress.com, StorybookHeirlooms.com and CostumeExpress.com, said it would post a third-quarter loss after delays in the automation of its distribution center led to higher-than-expected costs. It also plans to increase shipping rates charged to customers to reduce the impact of rising outbound shipping costs.

For the full year, the company forecast sales of between $86 million and $88 million and a profit of 27 to 30 cents. While its sales forecast remained the same, its profit guidance is 17 to 18 cents lower than before.

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