Lawyers Reportedly Looking For Groupon Complaints, Following Earnings Revisions

Chris CrumBusiness

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On Friday, Groupon announced revisions to its Q4 and full-year 2011 earnings report, including a $14.3 million reduction in Q4 revenue. When Groupon first reported its earnings, it had reported a 194% increase at $506.5 million.

With the revisions, operating expenses were increased, reducing the company's operating income by $30 million and its net income by $22.6 million. On news of the revisions, Groupon stock dropped. At the time of this writing, its at 16.27 -2.11‎ (-11.48%‎).

Groupon may even have some legal issues on its hands. At least, if there are any, they are being sought out. Shayndi Raice at The Wall Street Journal reports that lawyers began issuing releases, trying to get shareholders to contact them, right after Groupon made its announcement. Raice reports:

Lawyers said this weekend that if it is discovered that Groupon knew about the refund spike or the material weakness in internal controls when they filed their registration papers and went public in November – without disclosing that to investors – the company may be liable for the losses investors suffered since the disclosure Friday.

As a matter of fact, just as I was writing this, a release came through the wire from law firm Federman & Sherwood saying:

The law firm of Federman & Sherwood, a nationwide law firm specializing in securities, derivative and merger litigation, has initiated an investigation into Groupon, Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) with respect to possible breaches of fiduciary duty by the company’s officers and directors, as well as violations of state law. More specifically, the company and its auditor found material weaknesses with the company’s reported revenue and earnings for the fourth quarter 2011, and therefore may have misstated earnings and revenue in its Annual Report. There is also speculation that the officers and directors of the company “rushed” the initial public offering.

If you purchased Groupon, Inc. shares between the IPO date of November 4, 2011 and March 31, 2012, have information to assist in our investigation, or have any questions or concerns regarding this notice or preservation of your rights, please contact our firm.

Groupon CFO Jason Child said in its announcement, “We remain confident in the fundamentals of our business, as our performance continues to highlight the value that we provide to customers and merchants."

Groupon did confirm its Q1 guidance from the original earnings report. This includes expectations for first Q1 evenue of $510 million to $550 million and income from operations of $15 million to $35 million.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.