Groupon’s Latest Accounting Problem

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On Friday, the market eagerly awaited the release of Groupon’s (GRPN)10-K, detailing results for the year ended December 31, 2011. Shares were up 3.84% during regular trading hours, but dropped as much as 8% (eventually settling at -5.93%) in after hours trading when the company announced its figures were not as good as reported in February.

Revised Numbers

Some news sites are billing this as a restatement, although it would appear to be more of a revision to the numbers, as the original numbers were simply cited in an earnings release and the financial statements weren’t actually issued until Friday. Continue reading

Groupon IPO: Investors Beware the Unaudited Financial Statements

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It’s crunch time for Groupon (GRPN). The roadshow for the company’s Initial Public Offering went live last week, and Groupon’s offering will happen this week. Demand for the shares is apparently through the roof. The company was hoping to sell 30 million shares at $16 to $18 each, but word is that Groupon is now looking at increasing the offering price.

You can see the slide deck for the roadshow here. The presentation highlights the company’s massive growth, marketplace penetration, and ability to earn revenue. Continue reading

Groupon: Pay No Attention to the Bottom Line

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In the United States, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) are required to be used by public companies so that users of the financial statements can properly interpret results. It makes sense to have a set of rules common to all businesses, such that financial statement users can know what various line items and metrics mean.

If companies were allowed to make up their own accounting rules and measures, no one would know what the numbers really mean. And that is precisely what Groupon (GRPN) is hoping will happen when would-be investors look at the company’s numbers. Continue reading