Groupon plunged 30 percent before Thursday's opening bell, after posting a larger-than-expected fourth quarter net loss.
The company issued a weaker-than-expected revenue guidance, feeding the belief of some on Wall Street that people have tired of the myriad of online restaurant, spa and Botox deals that Groupon offers.
The company says it focused on growth at the cost of some profitability by offering better deals to top merchants in a bid to expand offerings to customers. That boosted demand along with market share and helped spur bookings growth, though at the expense of revenue, Groupon said.
Gross billings, a closely watched figure that shows the total amount that customers spent on Groupon's deals, increased 24 percent in the quarter to $1.52 billion.
Sterne Agee analyst, Arvind Bhatia, said that while the quarterly results and guidance are disappointing, he still thinks the stock has long-term investment potential. He backed his "buy" rating and $9 price target.
Bhatia pointed to the jump in billings as a sign of improvement and said the first-quarter guidance implies a gradual profit recovery.
Other analysts were less optimistic. Jefferies analyst, Brian Pitz, called the earnings and guidance disappointing and stuck to his "hold" rating and $4 price target for the stock. Susquehanna's Deepak Mathivanan reiterated a "neutral" rating and $4 price target.
Shares of Groupon Inc. fell $1.77 to $4.21 in pre-market trading.(AP News)