NEW YORK (TheStreet) –– Groupon's (GRPN) second quarter will highlight how the company is trying to remake itself from a daily deals Web site into an e-commerce company that can compete with the likes of Amazon (AMZN), even if that transformation continues to take longer than expected by investors.
In the first quarter, buoyed by acquisitions, Groupon saw revenue growth of 26% year over year, as well as a 29% increase in gross billings growth. Sales were $757.6 million. The company reported an adjusted loss of 1 cents a share but the results were better than analysts' expectations.
Following the results, Groupon raised its full-year adjusted EBITDA guidance to $300 million as it seeks to boost its first-party (1P) business and shift away from its third-party (3P) business, which has higher gross margins.
Groupon, now led by Eric Lefkofsky, who took over for Andrew Mason in February 2013, has made it his priority to boost the company's three key drivers, which both Groupon's board and Lefkosky see as beneficial over the long haul. These initiatives include boosting the Local business in North America and around the globe, and boosting gross margins at its Goods business, which is where it is competing with Amazon and other e-commerce companies.
While the company remakes itself, it is also trying to retrain its customers, noted Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia. The company is trying to change its business model to "pull" from "push." "This means that Groupon is essentially trying to retrain its customers to check the company's Web site for its worldwide Marketplace of 200,000 active deals (and growing) and not just when prompted via an email or a push notification within the Groupon app," Bhatia wrote in a research note, stating that "pull" represented 9% of transactions in the first quarter, up from 8% in the fourth quarter of 2013 and 6% in the third quarter of 2013.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect Chicago-based Groupon to earn an adjusted 1 cent a share on $761.8 million in revenue in the second quarter.
Going into the report, analysts were slightly cautious. Here's what a few of them had to say: