Groupon Preparing for First Public Earnings Announcement

Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) will be releasing its first public earnings report later today after what has been a sustained period of heavy acquisition.

Right now, most analysts expect the company to announceĀ a profit of three cents per share on revenue of $475 million, increasing from $430 million last quarter, which would be the company’s first profitable quarter in two years. Perhaps not without coincidence, Groupon began on a buying spree two years ago with purchase of the mobile app developer Mob.ly.

Since that time, Groupon has claimed something of a mixed bag of acquisitions, including Zappedy, a platform for merchants looking to more easily redeem Internet-based offers, and Campfire, which designs calendar, chat, and media-sharing tools.

Just last week, Groupon picked up the San Francisco-based start-up Adku, which has focused on helping e-retailers specialize their recommendations based on a variety of external factors.

While none of the acquisitions have been pricey, some have been questioning Groupon’s ability to monetize them in the short term, as many of them will be represent as apps that will be given away for free through mobile content providers.

Groupon has insisted, though, that these pick-ups have been beneficial, despite the fact that the bulk of Groupon’s 10,000 employees are focused on selling and not on tech.

Most of those heading the purchased start-ups have subsequently joined the company, including Adku co-founder Carlos Whitt, and Mob.ly CEO Mihir Shah, who is now Groupon’s vice president of mobile operations. In the end, though, this gives many the impression that Groupon is buying its talent and ideas, rather than generating them.

Groupon has successfully acquired all it’s gone after, having lost Gowalla to Facebook and Clever Sense to Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). But according to Shah, any and all acquisitions are directed toward leading the company away from merely being a daily deals service to being one that provides key marketing tools and other services, which at the moment seem to be directed at small business.

Many analysts believe the company is on the right track with its planned expansion, and say its the only way the company will grow and remain viable, especially as it competes with LivingSocial, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Google. During Groupon’s earnings report, many analysts will be listening closely for information about Groupon Now and some of the company’s other core programs.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Morris at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com