(Adds CFO comment, background)
By Deepa Seetharaman
SAN FRANCISCO Aug 5 Groupon Inc
slashed its full-year profit outlook on Tuesday, citing the need
to spend abundantly on marketing to power the once-high-flying
Internet coupon company's transition to a more comprehensive
The outlook did little to calm some investors' fears over
when Groupon's turnaround will gain traction and if its ambition
to be "the starting point for mobile commerce" is too lofty.
Groupon shares slid almost 18 percent in after-hours trading
on the Nasdaq, wiping out the gains of about 14 percent that had
been logged since the start of last week.
In an interview, Chief Financial Officer Jason Child said
the company opted to maintain marketing spending because it was
starting to see good results toward the end of the second
quarter and in early July.
"We've recently been dialing up our marketing expenses, and
over the last couple of months, we've really liked the returns
that we've been seeing," Child said.
Groupon says it now expects adjusted earnings before
interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of more than $270
million in 2014. In May, Groupon lifted its outlook for adjusted
EBITDA to more than $300 million.
For the second quarter, the company reported an adjusted
profit of 1 cent per share, in line with Wall Street
expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman; Additional reporting by Edwin
Chan; Editing by Leslie Adler)