/// Groupon Restates Earnings After Seeing a Spike in Holiday Returns

March 30, 2012  |  All Things Digital

Groupon has revised its results for the fourth quarter due to higher than expected return rates during the holiday period. The revision, which is not the company’s first, sent the stock tumbling by around 7 percent to $17.05 a share in after-hours trading. In a release filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, the company said it lowered its fourth quarter revenue by $14.3 million and its net income by $22.6 million. The daily deals giant is now reporting a wider net loss of $64.9 million on revenues totaling $492 million. Groupon’s revision reflects just how unpredictable the business is, and how little is known about how changes will affect its performance. It clearly did not know, or did not want to admit, how much offering slightly higher-end deals would affect its financial model. But companies in this stage of development are not typically public, or at this scale, and therefore, usually can make these errors in private. Still, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Despite these higher risk models being put into place going forward, the company reaffirmed guidance for the first quarter, meaning that it was able to perform better than it was expecting. In the first quarter, it is still expecting revenues of up to $550 million and net income from operations of up to $35 million. A Groupon spokesperson explained that the revision was necessary because the mix of deals in the fourth quarter changed. Due to higher-end offers, such as Lasik eye surgery, it experienced a higher return rate.

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Groupon Restates Earnings After Seeing a Spike in Holiday Returns

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