By Ingrid Lunden,Anthony Ha
Groupon has just put out its Q4 and full-year results. It has reported quarterly revenue of $638.8 million with an operating loss of $12.9 million and a loss per per share of 12 cents, falling short of analyst expectations on the EPS front — they had predicted $638.41 million in revenue and EPS of $0.03.
For comparison, in Q4 of last year Groupon reported revenues of $492.2 million, with EPS of $0.04 (non-GAAP loss of $0.06 per share) and a pro-forma net loss of $32.5 million. Its active customers last year numbered 33 million. Those Q4 results needed to be restated about a month after reporting because Groupon had higher-than-expected refunds, due to selling more expensive products and having customers make more returns of those goods.
The earnings release emphasizes gross billings, which grew 24 percent year-over-year to $1.52 billion.
“Record billings growth this quarter is a clear signal that customers love Groupons,” CEO Andrew Mason said in the release. “We will continue to invest in growth through 2013 as we see new opportunities to give our customers what they want.”
There were some bright spots for Groupon this past quarter due to holiday season shopping, particularly in the area of mobile commerce, one of the services that it wants to expand as part of its plan to expand beyond daily deals to provide more services to local businesses. It noted that Black Friday mobile transactions were up 140% year on year, with four times as many mobile purchases as on a normal Friday morning; mobile drove over 40% of Groupon’s overall transactions as well as over half of Groupon Goods’ transactions.
Groupon’s international business, which covers 47 countries outside of the U.S., with the U.K. the biggest market, is still based around the company’s legacy business of daily deals largely because Groupon’s growth has been inorganic and acquisition-based, and so each country has its own back-end system and has therefore been a challenge to integrate into what the U.S. is doing. It’s about a year behind but apparently integration of some of the mobile commerce services is on the agenda, so we may see services like Breadcrumb point of sale solution coming to international waters soon.
The results are coming in ahead of a Groupon board meeting tomorrow.