Amazon.com reported a third quarter loss of $274 million on Thursday, with the online retailer tossing some of the blame on its investment in the daily deals site LivingSocial. According to Amazon, more than half of its losses for the quarter, roughly $169 million, were tied to the Groupon rival.

LivingSocial — which boasts a 29 percent ownership stake from Amazon (now valued at $94 million) — showed an operating loss of $753 million and a net loss of $503 million for the nine months ended September 30th.  That occurred on revenue of $372 million for the period.

Looks pretty ugly, huh?

Well, LivingSocial CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy says in a memo obtained by All Things D that things really aren’t that bad. He said the results “don’t tell the full story,” pointing out that LivingSocial took a one-time charge of $496 million as it revalued companies that it acquired last year.

O’Shaughnessy writes:

When you look at our financial position, the story is very different. For the third quarter of 2012, our global revenue nearly doubled on a year-over-year basis. More important, for the first time since 2009, we had positive operating cash flow for our company on a global basis in the month of September. In other words, we ended the last month of the quarter with more money in the bank than we had at the beginning of the month, marking an important milestone on our path to profitability and long-term success.

Meanwhile, after a stock drop yesterday, shares of Amazon.com are rebounding today in part due to a more upbeat report on the U.S. economy. Shares are up more than two percent.

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  • anonymous

    Take a look at Living Social’s quarterly revenue trends though in the filings. $138mm in revenue Q2 and $124mm in Q3. Ouch!!!

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