Kara Swisher

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Groupon Earnings Miss Big, Sending Stock Into After-Hours Swoon

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Despite a large uptick in the stock earlier today, Groupon’s fourth-quarter results caused its shares to plunge 23 percent in after-hours trading.

The Chicago-based company said its revenues were $638.3 million in the three months, just below expectation of $640 million and up 30 percent from a year ago.

But the fourth-quarter GAAP loss was 12 cents per share, or $81.1 million, which included a loss of seven cents from a non-operating item. That compares to a 12 cent loss a year ago, but was well over the two cent loss Wall Street had expected.

This comes after Groupon’s third-quarter miss, which puts the fate of CEO Andrew Mason into some question. He and several board members had a bit of a kerfuffle several months ago over this management abilities.

Still, on a conference call on the results today, Mason struck a positive tone on the poor results.

In addition, the company’s guidance was also disappointing, with first-quarter revenue between $560 million and $610 million. That’s much lower than the $650.3 million, that investors were estimating. Groupon also said it would have a possible operating loss in Q1 up to $10 million.

Groupon shares were down to $4.63 after the markets closed, after a nearly eight percent run-up earlier in the day.

Here is the company’s official press release on Q4:

GRPN


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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