Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

More: Groupon Amends Its S-1 IPO Filing — Again! — Over Accounting Issues and CEO Letter

Groupon amended its public offering documents today, in a new filing with government regulators, in which it once again changed its accounting treatment.

That includes the way it measures revenue, which will now be reported excluding the money it pays out to merchants.

Some felt the “gross revenue” figure — a term for what are actually gross billings — was not reflective of Groupon’s true performance. It will now use net revenue.

Said the company in the current amended filing, its third:

“We consistently have stated that the amount we retain — rather than bill or collect — from the sale of Groupons is the key measure of the value we create. This change in presentation is consistent with that belief.”

Okkkkaaaay, whatever you say, but the change was requested by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In its second amended filing, Groupon dropped its controversial “Adjusted Consolidated Segment Operating Income,” or ACSOI, metric, which excluded key marketing costs.

In its first amended filing, it told investors to ignore statements made by its Chairman Eric Lefkofsky and also made more accounting clarifications.

In the current changes, Groupon also posted the controversial letter to employees — first published here — that CEO and co-founder Andrew Mason wrote to strike back at the Chicago-based social buying network’s critics. Many felt the missive violated the quiet period before an IPO that companies are required to maintain.

And Groupon has been anything but quiet, as it advances and retreats to its Wall Street road show, which has been delayed and then not delayed (and might still be delayed, but who knows?).

Also today in its noisy goat rodeo: COO Margo Georgiadis is headed back to Google after arriving in April.

I guess things did not work out.

Lastly, the new filing also has added a new metric for “cumulative repeat customers,” showcasing how many customers have bought a Groupon offering more than once. That number is over 12 million.

Here is the full new S-1 filing to peruse and pick apart:


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik