Groupon Inc. (GRPN) - Get Report shares traded sharply lower Wednesday after the online marketplace posted weaker-than-expected fourth quarter earnings, including three consecutive years of revenue declines, and forecast flat profit guidance for 2019.
Groupon said non-GAAP earnings for the three months ending in December came in at 10 cents per share, up nearly 43% from the same period last year but 3 cents shy of the Street consensus forecast. Group revenues, Groupon said, fell 8% to $799.9 million, the twelfth consecutive quarterly decline amid declining customer traffic.
Groupon said it sees operating earnings in the region of $270 million for 2019, essentially flat to the $268.8 million tally recorded last year.
"In 2018, we took critical steps to transform Groupon into a daily habit for consumers. Despite a challenging operating environment, I'm pleased with the progress we made on our strategic initiatives," said CEO Rich Williams. "In 2019, we plan to make bolder bets, and have clear priorities in place to help us do so."
"We believe focusing on convenience, our marketplace, International and continued operational rigor are the right strategies to position Groupon for long-term success," he added.
Groupon shares were marked 14.65% lower at the start of trading Wednesday to change hands at $3.38 each, a move that would extend the stock's three-month decline to around 25% and value the Chicago, Illinois-based group at just under $1.9 billion.