Groupon, Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) 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).
“We remain confident in the fundamentals of our business, as our performance continues to highlight the value that we provide to customers and merchants,” said Jason Child, Groupon CFO. Groupon affirmed its guidance contained in its February 8, 2012 press release regarding expectations for first quarter 2012 revenue of $510 million to $550 million and income from operations of $15 million to $35 million. This guidance includes approximately $35 million for stock-based compensation and acquisition-related expense, and it assumes no material business acquisitions or investments and no further revisions to stock-based compensation estimates.