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Groupon's Q1 Beats Expectations, but Outlook Disappoints Again

Continued marketing spend will tamp down earnings in the current quarter.

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Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Groupon posted better than expected sales and a narrower adjusted loss in the first quarter than Wall Street analysts expected, but an underwhelming forecast for the current quarter sent shares down more than four percent in after-hours trading.

For the current quarter, the company forecast earnings per share, excluding some items, of zero to two cents while analysts on average expecting adjusted EPS of three cents a share. The midpoint of the company’s revenue forecast for Q2 was $750 million, which also came in below expectations of $754 million. This is the second time in as many quarters that a soft forecast has thrown a pall over a previous-quarter beat.

The disappointing projection seems to have overshadowed a better-than-expected first quarter. Groupon lost one cent a share, excluding some items, on $758 million in revenue, surpassing expectations of an adjusted loss of three cents per share on $738 million in revenue.

I’ll be talking to CEO Eric Lefkofsky shortly and will update this post afterward.

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