News Column

Groupon shares fall on wider 1Q loss

May 6, 2014

By Ellen Jean Hirst, Chicago Tribune

May 06--Groupon shares sank in after-hours trading Tuesday after the Chicago-based online deals company reported a wider first-quarter loss.

Groupon said it lost $37.8 million, or 6 cents per share in the first three months of the year, compared with a loss of $4 million, or a penny per share last year.

Still, revenue jumped 26 percent to $757.6 million from $601.4 million in the same period a year ago.

Analysts had expected that Groupon, which hasn't turned a profit since going public in late 2011, would report a first-quarter loss of 3 cents a share. More analysts recommend to buy Groupon stock than sell, according to Bloomberg, with confidence that the company will pull off a turnaround.

Launched in 2008 as a daily deals website, Groupon has been working to change its model from a site that blasts out deals via email to a discount-offer service that is more comprehensive and searchable, with increased options for merchants and consumers.

But with the uncertainty of change, Groupon stock has struggled to find buyers even after a 40 percent drop in price this year. Groupon's stock has traded below its initial public offering price of $20 for more than two years, leaving it among the worst-performing stocks in the Russell 1000 Index this year.

The company has also spent more on marketing and acquisitions recently. It bought South Korean e-commerce marketplace Ticket Monster Inc. in November for $260 million and online fashion retailer ideeli Inc. in January for $43 million.

Groupon stock closed at $6.72 Tuesday, down 17 cents or 2.47 percent.

Follow @EllenJeanHirst Follow @chibreakingbiz


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Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)

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