Groupon Earnings Wow Investors

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Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) reported its fourth-quarter financial results after the markets closed on Thursday. The company had $0.04 in earnings per share (EPS) on $917.2 million in revenues. That compares to consensus estimates that called for a breakeven in earnings on revenue of $841 million. In the same period of the previous year, it posted EPS of $0.06 and $925.4 million in revenue.

At the end of the fourth quarter, on average, active deals were approximately 650,000 globally, with nearly 350,000 in North America. Both include approximately 70,000 coupons.

Also during the quarter, Groupon repurchased roughly 35 million shares of its common stock for an aggregate purchase price of $112.5 million, at the end of December. There is up to $156.8 million available in the repurchase authorization left for Groupon through August 2017.

In terms of full year 2016 guidance, Groupon expects to have revenues in the range of $2.75 billion to $3.05 billion and adjusted EBITDA in the range of $80 million to $130 million. The consensus estimates call for a net loss of $0.09 per share on $2.97 billion in revenue.

Rich Williams, CEO of Groupon, said:

2015 saw sustained progress toward our vision of making Groupon the daily habit in local commerce. Following a stronger than expected fourth quarter, we enter 2016 with a continued focus on streamlining our global operations, reducing our reliance on low margin products in our shopping business and rekindling our customer acquisition efforts to set the stage for accelerated growth.

Free cash flow totaled $233.5 million in the fourth quarter. On the books, cash and cash equivalents totaled $853.4 million, compared to $1.02 billion in the same period from the previous year.

Shares of Groupon closed Thursday at $2.24, with a consensus analyst price target of $3.74 and a 52-week trading range of $2.15 to $8.37. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was up nearly 22% to $2.73 in early trading indications on Friday.