Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) may have beaten expectations for the fourth quarter, but at the end of the day, what investors care more about is the present and the future. And unfortunately, the daily deals giant didn’t paint such a pretty picture for the current quarter. Investors are now beginning to wonder at the real costs Groupon paid to make those two acquisitions it announced recently.
Groupon’s results were mixed
For the fourth quarter, Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) reported revenue of $786 million, a 20.4% increase year over year, compared to a 4.7% increase in the third quarter, and ahead of estimates. The company’s CSOI was $48 million, which was lower than Goldman Sachs’ estimate of $56 million.
Goldman Sachs cuts PT for Groupon
Analysts at Goldman Sachs have lowered their price target for Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) from $11 to $10 a share. Like most other analysts, they noted that the company’s first quarter guidance for adjusted EBIDTA was extremely weak. Groupon guided for it to be between $20 million and $40 million, far below the estimate of $100 million set by analyst Heath Terry and his team. However, the company’s revenue guidance was between $710 million and $760 million, which was higher than their estimate of $687 million for the quarter.
Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) cited the costs associated with integrating Ticket Monster and ideeli and increasing marketing as being the reason for the much lower than expected EBITDA guidance.
Can Groupon execute?
The Goldman team remains Neutral on Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) because they think it will be extremely difficult for the company to successfully execute its many initiatives. They believe Groupon has a “meaningful advantage” in addressing opportunities within local markets. However, they want to see more evidence of success before they will become more constructive on the company’s stock.
They did increase their 2014 to 2016 revenue estimates by 9%, however, to reflect Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN)’s two recent acquisitions. They also slashed their EBITDA estimates 21% to reflect the integration and increased marketing spend which Groupon is projecting.