Groupon, the largest daily-deal website, saw it shares plunge to a record low after reporting third-quarter revenue that missed estimates as sales of coupons overseas declined from the previous period.
The stock Closed down 29.6 percent to $1.16 in New York trading. Last November, Groupon sold shares at $20 apiece in its inital public offering.
Groupon, which has lost 80 percent of its value since holding an IPO a year ago, has struggled to grow abroad, where it makes nearly half its revenue. While the company has taken steps, such as adding new management, to bolster its business in Europe, currency movements and weak demand for online coupons outside the U.S. continue to pose challenges, said Sameet Sinha, an analyst at B. Riley & Co. in San Francisco.
"Some people have expected a quick turnaround in Europe," said Sinha, who has a neutral rating on the stock. "What they don't understand is it's a huge task."
The net loss was $2.98 million, the Chicago-based company said Thursday in a statement. Sales rose 32 percent to $568.6 million, missing the $591 million average analyst estimate, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
International revenue was $276.9 million, or 49 percent of total sales. That was down 10 percent from the second quarter of this year, when sales outside the U.S. were $308.2 million.
Groupon Goods, an e-commerce site started last year, reached a projected $500 million in annual sales, the
"Customers have embraced that product line since we launched it a little over a year ago, definitely a little faster than we expected," Child said. "That is leading to margin reductions."
The company makes money by offering discounts -- known as Groupons -- from businesses such as restaurants and nail salons. It then splits the revenue with the businesses.
Profit margins will come under further pressure as the company seeks to add thousands of merchants by offering them a greater share of revenue from coupons, Child said.
Groupon said yesterday it's eliminating 80 sales jobs as it automates its sales and marketing operations. The company has more than 12,800 employees.
"Groupon announced several months ago it would be using technology to increase productivity through automation," Julie Mossler, a spokeswoman for Groupon, said in an emailed statement before the earnings announcement. "We will always aim to optimize business operations wherever opportunities are identified."
Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mason plans to address what he calls "execution issues" in Europe by bringing smarter technology and more of a focus on merchant satisfaction to the region, he said on a call with analysts.
"To fix our international business we are following the playbook that we wrote for North America," he said. "We're cautiously optimistic and confident that we're on a path to continued improvement in Europe."
Fourth-quarter revenue will be $625 million to $675 million, Groupon said in the statement. That compares with an average analyst estimate of $637 million.