Groupon Posts Strong Quarter After CEO's Departure

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The last time Groupon (GRPN) reported its quarterly earnings, the daily-deal company saw its share price dive after badly missing its revenue targets -- and only recovered when it subsequently fired founder and CEO Andrew Mason.

Wednesday's earnings report, covering the quarter ending March 31, was a good deal more positive.

The company beat analysts' estimates by bringing in $601 million in revenue for the quarter, and its earnings-per-share of 3 cents was in line with projections. That growth was driven by a 42% year-over-year revenue increase in North America, more than enough to counter an 18% drop in overseas revenues. Active customers, which Groupon defines as subscribers who have bought at least one Groupon in the last year, rose from 36.9 million to 41.7 million, an impressive year-over-year increase of 13%.

The report cheered Groupon's weary investors, with the share price shooting up 12% in after-hours trading.

But Groupon still has a way to go before we can declare a comeback. Shares have still lost about half their value in the past year, and last month, UBS analyst Eric Sheridan gave the stock a sell rating, declaring that it had an "unproven business model." Meanwhile, there's plenty of management uncertainty to go around: The board still hasn't named a replacement for Mason, and on Tuesday Staples hired away Faisal Masud, head of the company's fledgling Groupon Goods service.

Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at Matt.Brownell@teamaol.com, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.

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