Groupon files $750 million IPO


Groupon is the latest hot Internet company to line up on Wall Street for an IPO. The online couponing company filed Thursday (6/2) to sell three quarters of a billion dollars in stock to the public.

In the first public disclosure of its finances, Groupon reported that it had $644.7 million in Q1 revenues, up dramatically from $44.2 million in Q1 of 2010. It posted an operating loss of $117.1 million in Q1 of 2011. Surprisingly, it had posted a small operating profit of $8.6 million a year earlier.

For all of 2010 Groupon had revenues of $713.4 million, up from only $30.5 million in 2009. The operating loss grew to $420.3 million from $1.1 million.

Groupon said it expects to use the trading symbol “GRPN,” although the prospectus filed with the SEC did not indicate which exchange its stock will trade on. Four digit symbols usually trade on Nasdaq, but not always.

The IPO underwriters listed thus far are Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse.

If your media company doesn’t either work with Groupon or compete against it and you don’t know what the company does, here is the official description leading off the prospectus:

“Groupon is a local e-commerce marketplace that connects merchants to consumers by offering goods and services at a discount. Traditionally, local merchants have tried to reach consumers and generate sales through a variety of methods, including the yellow pages, direct mail, newspaper, radio, television and online advertisements, promotions and the occasional guy dancing on a street corner in a gorilla suit. By bringing the brick and mortar world of local commerce onto the internet, Groupon is creating a new way for local merchants to attract customers and sell goods and services. We provide consumers with savings and help them discover what to do, eat, see and buy in the places where they live and work.”