Groupon Q4 Disappoints Some, but Take a Look at Mobile

Groupon logoIn today’s earnings announcement, Groupon missed or met (depending) analysts revenue expectations. There was also an unexpected EPS loss of $0.12. Below is the consolidated financial statement.

For the full year the company made revenue of $2.33 billion (vs. $1.61 billion in 2011) against billings of $5.38 billion.

Groupon Q4

There were many positive metrics beyond the top-line numbers:

  • Marketing expense per new customer improved 61% year-over-year in the fourth quarter 2012, enabling the reduction of overall marketing spend by 61% compared with the fourth quarter 2011.
  • As of December 31, 2012, Groupon had 41.0 million active customers, an increase of 22% year-over-year, with gross customer additions partially offset by higher customer inactivations.
  • As of the end of the fourth quarter, the number of active deals in North America increased almost 300% year-over-year to nearly 37,000.

Here was the thing that caught my eye however: “In January 2013, nearly 40% of North American transactions were completed on mobile devices, an increase of 44% compared with January 2012. This compares with about one third of transactions completed on mobile devices in October 2012.” (Emphasis added.)

This is massive. What it means in real dollar terms is that Groupon drove about $608 million in mobile commerce in Q4 in North America.

Update: Andrew Mason’s days as CEO at Groupon are probably coming to an end. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gave up the CEO role and/or exited the company in the very near term. Institutional investors will probably demand this given the Q4 performance.

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