Update 1: Investors bid Groupon massively higher following a better than expected financial performance. However, a mere 10 minutes after pushing Groupon up nearly 15 percent, the tone turned. The company is now down more than 5 percent.
Update 2: Looks like a standard forecast differential. Groupon doesn’t expect its profitability to grow much this year. Investors had expected it to more than double. Ouch.
Today after the close Groupon reported its financial performance, including non-GAAP earnings of $0.04 per share on revenue of $768.4 million. In the sequentially preceding quarter, Groupon had revenue of $595.1 million, earning $0.02 per share.
For the fourth quarter reported today, analysts had expected Groupon to earn $0.02 again, on sharply higher revenue of $719 million. The fourth quarter is, of course, a cyclically strong period for the commerce-facing company.
During regular trading today, Groupon picked up more than 1.5 percent, beating an up market. Following its earnings beat, Groupon is up a massive 13 percent.
On a GAAP basis, Groupon lost 12 cents per share. What caused the massive gap between GAAP earnings per share and non-GAAP? According to the company, “stock compensation, acquisition costs and the impairment of a minority investment in China.” That’s reasonable.
For the full year, Groupon had revenue of $2.6 billion.
Looking year over year, for the fourth quarter, Groupon’s revenue rose 20 percent, with the company citing strong holiday shopping as a core reason. All told, a solid quarter for Groupon.
Mobile is increasingly important for the firm, which it noted, saying that in the final month of 2013, “nearly 50% of global transactions were completed on mobile devices.” For that month, Groupon was truly a mobile company. It will be interesting to see how that ratio changes moving into the first quarter.
What’s ahead? Groupon forecasts that it will have revenue in the period between $710 million and $760 million, and lose between 2 and 4 cents (non-GAAP) per share on the back of costs stemming from its recent purchase of the Korean company Ticket Monster.