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Groupon outlook disappoints, shares slide after hours

February 12, 2015, 10:39 PM UTC

Groupon’s forecast for first-quarter results fell short of Wall Street’s expectations, as the online commerce company has been struggling to rev up sales and profit growth.

The daily deals and online retail company forecast revenue of $790 million to $840 million in the March quarter, up 13 percent from a year earlier on a foreign exchange-neutral basis.

That lagged Groupon’s (GRPN) target for 15 percent growth on the same basis in 2015. It also fell short of an average prediction for $856.14 million.

Shares in the company, which gave the forecasts when it reported fourth-quarter results on Thursday, slid almost 3 percent to $7.24 in after-hours trade.

Investors have focused on Groupon’s ability to grow its bottom line.

The company that once dominated the fast-growing online coupons arena reported earnings, excluding one-time items, of 6 cents per share in the crucial holiday quarter, surpassing the 3 cents Wall Street had expected on average.

But it forecast earnings of zero to 2 cents this quarter, versus an average prediction for 2 cents.

Revenue was up 20% at $925.4 million during the three-month holiday period.