Groupon Inc. reported quarterly earnings as a publicly traded company for the first time on Wednesday, posting a net loss of $42.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2011.
Groupon said the profit miss resulted from an unexpectedly high overseas tax rate prompted by the opening of an international headquarters in Switzerland. Revenue was $506.5 million, up 194 percent from the final quarter of 2010. A year earlier there was a loss of $378.6 million, or $1.08 a share.
Groupon had a strong fourth quarter and we finished 2011 having helped 250,000 local merchants across 47 countries grow their businesses while saving Groupon customers billions of dollars, said chief executive Andrew Mason. We will continue to invest in new services and tools that help our merchant partners be more successful and drive local commerce around the world, he added.
Groupon began trading publicly on Nov. 4 after an IPO process filled with controversy. As soon as Groupon disclosed its financials in its June 2011 IPO filing, critics slammed the company for its unorthodox accounting measures. That led to several downward revisions of Groupon's financials.
Despite all that, Groupon shares soared about 31 percent on their debut day, at one point topping $31 a share.
After making its debut on the Nasdaq it raised $700 million in an initial public offering that gave the company a valuation of $12.76 billion.