Q4 2013 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 02/20/2014

Genny Konz - IR: Hello, and welcome to our fourth quarter and full year 2013 financial results conference call. On the call today are Eric Lefkofsky, our CEO; and Jason Child, CFO. Kal Raman, our COO will be available for questions during the Q&A portion of the call.

The following discussion and responses to your questions reflect management's views as of today, February 20, 2014, only and will include forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially. Additional information about factors that could potentially impact our financial results is included in today's press release and in our filings with the SEC, including our Form 10-K.

Groupon encourages investors to use the investor relations website as a way of easily finding information about the Company. Groupon promptly makes available on this website, free of charge, reports that the Company files or furnishes with the SEC, corporate governance information, and select press releases and social media postings.

During this call, we will discuss certain non-GAAP financial measures. In our press release and our filings with the SEC, each of which is posted on our investor relations website, you will find additional disclosures regarding non-GAAP measures, including reconciliations of these measures with U.S. GAAP.

Finally, unless otherwise stated, all comparisons in this call will be against our results for the comparable period of 2012.

Now I will turn the call over to Eric.

Eric Lefkofsky - CEO: Thanks, Genny. In the fourth quarter, we delivered record billings and revenue, consolidated segment operating income of $48 million and non-GAAP EPS of positive $0.04. Gross billings increased 5% to $1.6 billion for the quarter and increased 7% to $5.8 billion for the full year.

Revenue increased 20% to $768 million for the quarter and increased 10% to $2.6 billion for the full year. Adjusted EBITDA was $72 million for the quarter and $287 million for the full year. Finally, for the full year we delivered consolidated segment operating income of $197 million, and non-GAAP EPS of $0.11. Jason will cover the numbers in further detail.

Let me start by reviewing the highlights. First, North America posted a number of strong quarter. Billings in North America grew 10% to $789 million; revenue grew 18% to $444 million and segment operating income improved from $17 million in Q4 of 2012 to $26 million this quarter.

The main takeaway here is how significantly our take rate improved on a year-over-year basis. Late in 2012, as you may recall, we tested a campaign where we dramatically reduced margins to drive billing. We overshot those efforts, which drove significant short-term billings, but reduced our operating income too aggressively. This effect was most acutely felt in local, where billings were up 2% year-over-year compared with 13% last quarter.

So why did local growth in North America decelerate? After two quarters in a row of accelerating growth, the deceleration we saw in Q4 was directly related to the tough comp, as we stabilized margins in 2013 versus Q4 of 2012, when we were chasing billings growth without restraint.

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