Thursday, July 28, 2011


According to “Accounting Today”, the group coupon site, Groupon announced its plans for a $750 million initial public offering last week, but the Chicago-based company’s IPO filing contained some disquieting information about its finances.

Among the information, was the company’s uneven rate of cash flow. Revenue growth went from $3.3 million in the second quarter of 2009 to $644.7 million in the first quarter of 2011. But “free cash flow” in 2010 was said to be just $72.2 million, including $7.0 million in one quarter despite revenues of $644.7 million.

The company’s accounting has been termed, “Grouponistically Acclaimed Accounting Procedures” by the Daily Deal. Writer, Don Young Jr. noted that the company's net loss last year was $413.4 million, and in the first quarter of this year was $113.9 million, giving it an estimated burn rate of nearly $450 million a year. That's a whole lot of coupons!