Why Groupon Inc. Stock Popped Today

By Markets Fool.com

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

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What:Shares of Groupon Inc. were up 9.3% as of 2:00 p.m. Friday after the daily deal specialist announced better-than-expected fourth quarter results.

So what: Quarterly revenue climbed 20% year over year to $925.4 million, which resulted in adjusted net income of $0.06 per share. Analysts, on average, were only expecting earnings of $0.03 per share on sales of $908.4 million.

Groupon also saw strength in fourth quarter gross global billings, which increased 31% year over year to $2.1 billion, driven by its first-quarter acquisition of Ticket Monster. On a foreign exchange-neutral basis, Groupon noted that includes encouraging 20% growth in billings from North America, 8% from Europe, Middle East, and Africa, or theEMEA region, and 154% from the rest of the world.

Now what: "2014 was a transformational year forGroupon, as we made significant progress in our strategy to become the world's leading local commerce destination," said Groupon CEO Eric Lefkofsky. "We now turn our attention to further building out our marketplace to ensure that our more than 260 million subscribers have an amazing experience every time they use Groupon."

Even so, for the current quarter Groupon expects revenue between $790 million-$840 million, and adjusted earnings per share between $0.00-$0.02. Both ranges are below expectations for earnings of $0.03 per share on sales of $856.1 million -- though it's worth noting Groupon's guidance includes a significant negative impact from foreign exchange rates.

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In the end, while I'm personally impressed by Groupon's solid beat, I'm still cautious given its light outlook. As a result, I'm happy to leave Groupon on my watch list to see how its long-term plans progress in the coming quarters.

The article Why Groupon Inc. Stock Popped Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.