Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) has missed its expected earnings, posting a flat net income on revenues of $568.6m, instead of the three cents per share on revenue of $590.1m that was expected by analysts. Revenue one-year ago was $430.2m.

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The company also trimmed its sales team by 80 members just an hour before its earnings reports were due at the end of the day’s trading, in order to “increase productivity” through technological automation.

The firings come just a day after the troubled tech company’s volatile stock fell by 5.8 percent, before rebounding today by 4.26 percent, or $0.16, up to $3.92 per share. The firings may come as a surprise to employees and investors, as in Groupon’s last quarterly report the company stated that it intended to continue hiring:

“We anticipate that our operating expenses will increase substantially in the foreseeable future, as we continue to invest to increase our customer base, increase the number and variety of deals we offer each day, expand our marketing channels, expand our operations, hire additional employees, and develop our technology platform.”

Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN)’s earnings of consolidated revenue of $568.6m show an increase of 32 percent year on year. The company reports operating income of $25.4m, with an operating loss of $0.2m in the third quarter of 2011.

In after-hours trading, shares are down 50 cents to $3.42, or 12.76 percent.

In August, Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) posted second quarter revenues of $568.3m, up 45 percent from one year ago but below expectations of $573.1m. Gross billings in the second quarter reached $1.29bn, a drop of four percent from the first quarter. This raised questions in many analysts’ minds as to the viability of the Groupon business model. The company also suffered a drop in revenue from coupons sold on the behalf of merchants, which Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) attributed to foreign exchange and a weak European economy. Revenue dropped to $503m in the second quarter, down from $540m in the first quarter.

For the six months ending 30 June 2012, Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) revenues increased 64% to $1.13B. Net income applicable to common stockholders totaled $16.7M vs. a loss of $253.9M. Revenues reflect an International segment increase of 59% to $628.9M and a North American segment increase of 70% to $498.7M. Net Income reflects International segment income totaling $55.9M vs. losses of $128.3M, and the North American segment income totaling $83.6M.