Groupon (GRPN) Upgraded to “Hold” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Groupon operates a website that offers daily discount deals. The company's improving mix of products along with accelerating consumer activities is a key catalyst. The company’s partnership with Grubhub and ParkWhiz along with ongoing brand awareness programs is anticipated to boost revenues. Rising e-commerce spending on mobile devices is another positive for Groupon. Nonetheless, Groupon has been trying to reduce dependence on goods deals and is shifting focus toward local services market. This is because local services market is a high margin business while goods deals bring in high revenues but smaller margins. The transition continues to hurt the company’s revenues as reflected in fourth-quarter results. Lower customer traffic also remains an overhang on the company’s top-line growth. Notably, shares of Groupon have underperformed the industry in the past year.”

A number of other analysts also recently commented on GRPN. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Groupon from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Friday, November 23rd. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Groupon from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, January 15th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group initiated coverage on shares of Groupon in a report on Monday, February 4th. They issued a neutral rating and a $3.50 price objective for the company. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $4.56.

GRPN stock opened at $3.46 on Monday. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.01 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 39.22, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 16.81 and a beta of 1.46. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.53, a current ratio of 1.04 and a quick ratio of 1.04. Groupon has a 12 month low of $2.80 and a 12 month high of $5.52.

Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 12th. The coupon company reported $0.08 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.10 by ($0.02). The business had revenue of $799.93 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $782.54 million. Groupon had a negative net margin of 0.42% and a positive return on equity of 17.33%. The firm’s revenue was down 8.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.07 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Groupon will post 0.07 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, Director Eric P. Lefkofsky sold 3,000,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $3.33, for a total value of $9,990,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 16.90% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Alps Advisors Inc. grew its stake in shares of Groupon by 20.7% in the 4th quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 25,991 shares of the coupon company’s stock valued at $83,000 after buying an additional 4,464 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can grew its stake in shares of Groupon by 130.6% in the 4th quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 9,326 shares of the coupon company’s stock valued at $30,000 after buying an additional 5,281 shares during the period. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio grew its stake in shares of Groupon by 34.4% in the 4th quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 25,035 shares of the coupon company’s stock valued at $80,000 after buying an additional 6,407 shares during the period. Quinn Opportunity Partners LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Groupon in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $41,000. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc grew its stake in shares of Groupon by 8.1% in the 4th quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 179,201 shares of the coupon company’s stock valued at $573,000 after buying an additional 13,351 shares during the period. 68.51% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Groupon

Groupon, Inc operates online local commerce marketplaces that connect merchants to consumers by offering goods and services at a discount in North America and internationally. The company provides deals in various categories, including events and activities, beauty and spa, health and fitness, food and drink, home and garden, and automotive; and deals on various product lines, such as electronics, sporting goods, jewelries, toys, household items, and apparel, as well as provides discounted and market rates for hotel, airfare, and package deals.

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