Groupon's margins under pressure, shares now -4% AH

|By:, SA News Editor

With the recent Ideeli and Ticket Monster acquisitions expected to add $50M to sales, Groupon (GRPN) expects Q1 revenue of $710M-$760M, above a $668.6M consensus. But EPS, due to be pressured by additional spending on "marketing and other growth initiatives," is expected to be in a range of -$0.04 to -$0.02, below a $0.06 consensus.

Q4 gross billings (expected to be soft) +5% Y/Y vs. +10% in Q3. North American billings growth fell to 10% from Q3's 24%, but EMEA saw a big turnaround, growing 6% after declining 21% in Q3. Rest of world -11% vs. -4%.

Units +11% Y/Y to 56M, active customers +9% to 44.9M.

Thanks to an ongoing shift towards Goods/e-commerce sales, gross margin fell to 49.2% from 60.4% in Q3 and 55.7% a year ago. $37.6M was spent on buybacks.

Q4 results, PR