Why a Slight Loss Is Holding Groupon Way Back

Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) released its third-quarter financial results after the markets closed on Wednesday. The company posted a net loss of $0.01 per share and $720.5 million in revenue. The consensus estimates called for a net loss of $0.02 per share on revenue of $707.8 million.

Global units sold declined 5% year-over-year to 49 million, primarily driven by country exits and restructuring efforts in international segments.

Units in North America increased 4%, EMEA units declined 8% and Rest of World units declined 31%.

During the third quarter of 2016, Groupon repurchased 5.2 million shares for an aggregate purchase price of $24.6 million. Nearly $245 million remains available under the current repurchase plan.

Groupon is raising its revenue guidance range to between $3.075 billion and $3.150 billion for the full year, and narrowing its expected 2016 adjusted EBITDA range to between $150.0 million and $165.0 million.

Consensus estimates call for $748.13 million in revenue for the fourth quarter and $3.1 billion in revenue for the full year.

Operating cash flow for the trailing 12 months ended September 30, 2016, was $78.9 million. Free cash flow was negative $53.7 million in the third quarter. Groupon cash and cash equivalents totaled $689.75 million at the end of the quarter, down from $853.36 million at the end of 2015.

Rich Williams, Groupon CEO, commented:

Our strategy continues to deliver results with double-digit growth in North America local billings and our highest quarter for customer acquisition in over three years. We are looking forward to a strong finish to the year and further progress on our mission to make Groupon a daily habit for consumers.

Shares of Groupon closed Wednesday down 1.1% at $5.26, with a consensus analyst price target of $5.24 and a 52-week trading range of $2.15 to $5.94. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was down an additional 9% at $4.78 in early trading indications Thursday.