So much for that low bar.
Daily-deals site Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) looks to open Friday trading at all-time lows by the looks of after-hours trading, where GRPN shares are being pelted by 17% following a disappointing third-quarter earnings report.
Revenues came in at $568.6 million, up 36% from the year-ago period, but the company only broke even — both metrics fell short of analysts’ already-low estimates of $590.1 million and a 3-cent-per-share profit. Groupon also forecast revenues of $625 million to $675 million for the current quarter, in line with analyst estimates for $634 million.
Groupon heaped much of the blame for the slowdown on headwinds in Europe, which quickly has become a big slice of the company’s revenues. CEO Andrew Mason did say that North America’s performance was “solid,” however.
And at 81% growth, yes, North American revenues were solid.
Not so solid were international revenues — covering 48 countries, 21 of them in Europe — which grew just 3%. And as a whole, there’s been a marked slowdown in revenues for the first three quarters of 2012 — the rates have shrunk from 89% to 45% to 32%.
A couple other things to note:
- Groupon has laid of 80 employees; only a small part of its 10,000-person work force, but not the direction you’d like to see.
- Operating cash flow decreased 35% year-over year to $42.1 million.
For now, Groupon is showing little that would encourage longer-term investors. While Mason led the cheers for the company’s Groupon Goods (physical selling) business, calling it “a second major category that our customers clearly love,” the numbers aren’t anything to get excited about.
While GRPN is being crushed ever more into bargain status, it might be a deal best left alone for now.
Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPOPlaybook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He is also the author of “How to Create the Next Facebook.” Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.