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Oops! Groupon's October billings suffer a $29 million 'miscount'

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By Noel Young, Correspondent

December 13, 2011 | 2 min read

Independent data provider Yipit has revealed it accidentally double-counted some of Groupon’s more complex deals involving multiple price points in October . The result? It estimates the daily deal firm 's October gross billings rose just 1.5% to $147 million.

Yipit, which tracks Groupon’s sales in North America, had originally estimated that Groupon's gross billings grew a “stellar” 22% from September to October — to $176 million from $144 million. Groupon stock rose 8% the day the figures were released.

Commenting on the new figures - $29 million less - The Wall Street Journal says that on the plus side, Groupon’s new categories for travel and product deals appear to be growing nicely.

"But these are small, and if you exclude them from the overall figure, North American gross billings for Groupon’s core daily deals business fell September to October."

The WSJ verdict:"If indeed Groupon’s growth is slowing, it will be a reminder that, valued at 10 times this year’s revenue, its stock isn’t a deal."

PS: Groupon's rival Living Social isn’t doing much better cording to Yipit. Excluding a big deal with Whole Foods Market, which brought in $10 million of gross billings in September, its core daily deals business has grown only from $39 million in July to $42 million in October.

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