Zacks Investment Research Lowers Groupon (GRPN) to Sell

Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Groupon operates a website that offers daily discount deals. Due to company’s operating model it has to continue spending on generating awareness about its offerings which ensures recurring expenditure weighing down profitability. Moreover, revenue growth has slowed down in the last couple of years. Reduced international footprint will continue to hurt top-line growth at least in the near term. Moreover, intensifying competition is a significant headwind. Shares of the company have also underperformed the industry over the past three months. However, the company’s partnership with Grubhub and ongoing brand awareness programs are anticipated to boost revenues. Moreover, the company’s policy of launching new products on a regular basis is a positive.”

Several other equities analysts also recently issued reports on GRPN. Cowen raised shares of Groupon from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and lifted their price target for the company from $2.90 to $5.38 in a report on Monday, October 16th. Gabelli began coverage on shares of Groupon in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $7.00 target price for the company. Vetr downgraded shares of Groupon from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $5.74 target price for the company. in a research note on Tuesday, November 21st. Barclays boosted their target price on shares of Groupon from $3.85 to $4.40 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. Finally, DA Davidson reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Groupon in a research note on Thursday, November 30th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Groupon currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $5.06.

Shares of Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) traded down $0.03 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $5.02. 19,159,400 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 9,008,439. Groupon has a 12-month low of $2.90 and a 12-month high of $5.99. The company has a market cap of $2,880.00, a P/E ratio of -34.27, a P/E/G ratio of 26.42 and a beta of 1.47. The company has a quick ratio of 0.86, a current ratio of 0.86 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.99.

In other news, CAO Brian Stevens sold 20,000 shares of Groupon stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $5.71, for a total transaction of $114,200.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief accounting officer now owns 222,354 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,269,641.34. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider James Sullivan sold 25,000 shares of Groupon stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $5.29, for a total transaction of $132,250.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 350,919 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,856,361.51. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 1,545,000 shares of company stock valued at $8,901,450. 23.40% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. New York State Teachers Retirement System acquired a new stake in shares of Groupon during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $122,000. US Bancorp DE acquired a new position in Groupon during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $133,000. North Star Investment Management Corp. acquired a new position in Groupon during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $153,000. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. acquired a new position in Groupon during the second quarter valued at approximately $116,000. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. grew its holdings in Groupon by 157.7% during the second quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 31,713 shares of the coupon company’s stock valued at $122,000 after purchasing an additional 19,408 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 59.81% of the company’s stock.

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About Groupon

Groupon, Inc operates online local commerce marketplaces around the world that connect merchants to consumers by offering goods and services at a discount. The Company operates through three segments: North America, which represents the United States and Canada; EMEA, which consists of Europe, and the Middle East and Africa, and the remainder of its international operations (Rest of World).

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