Groupon TVIXes Muppets

It seems like yesterday that to much pomp and circumstance, Groupon came public. We can only hope that anyone who bought into the public offering sold long ago, because the company has just decided to TVIX the muppets:

  • GROUPON CUTS FORECAST - BBG
  • GROUPON REFUND RESERVE ACCRUAL INCREASED - BBG

But most importantly:

  • GROUPON SAYS MATERIAL WEAKNESS IN INTERNAL CONTROLS - BBG

We are fairly confident that the stock will continue imploding after hours until such time as confidence in the stock market returns.

From the earnings release:

Groupon, Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN - News) today announced a revision of its reported financial results for its fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2011. Groupon also affirmed its guidance for the first quarter of 2012.

 

The revisions resulted in a reduction to fourth quarter 2011 revenue of $14.3 million. The revisions also resulted in an increase to fourth quarter operating expenses that reduced operating income by $30.0 million, net income by $22.6 million, and earnings per share by $0.04. Financial results for prior periods, including as of and for the nine months ended September 30, 2011, were not affected by the revisions.

 

There is no change to Groupon's previously reported operating cash flow of $169.1 million for the fourth quarter 2011 and $290.5 million for the full year 2011. There is also no change to Groupon's previously reported free cash flow, which is a non-GAAP financial measure that reflects cash flow from operations less purchases of property and equipment, of $155.1 million for the fourth quarter 2011 and $246.6 million for the full year 2011.

 

The revisions are primarily related to an increase to the Company’s refund reserve accrual to reflect a shift in the Company’s fourth quarter deal mix and higher price point offers, which have higher refund rates. The revisions have an impact on both revenue and cost of revenue. A more detailed explanation of the refund reserve is included in the Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates section of Groupon’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

 

In conjunction with the completion of the audit of Groupon’s financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2011 by its independent auditor, Ernst & Young LLP, the Company included a statement of a material weakness in its internal controls over its financial statement close process in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for year ended December 31, 2011. The Company has been working for several months with another global accounting firm in preparation for reporting on the effectiveness of its internal controls by the end of 2012, as required following Groupon’s initial public offering last year. The Company continues to implement process improvement initiatives and augment its staffing, and is expanding the accounting firm’s engagement scope to address the underlying causes of the material weakness. Further discussion of the material weakness can be found in the Company’s Form 10-K, filed today with the SEC.

Stock collapsing: