Everyone loves a bargain, so the initial investors in Coupons.com Inc (NYSE:COUP) must be thrilled that the stocks they bought for $16 are now trading at just under $32, nearly doubling in value in a couple of hours. Coupons.com Inc (NYSE:COUP) had originally said that it would sell for $12 – $14 when it filed for an IPO in January, and then raised its starting price when it saw how much interest there was during its road show, reports Maggie McGrath at Forbes.

Coupons.com

Coupons.com isn’t the biggest IPO of the year

Despite this incredible one day gain, Coupons.com Inc (NYSE:COUP) actually isn’t the most successful IPO so far this year. Dicerna Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:DRNA) jumped $206.7% on its first day of trading from an issue price of $15 to $46, now trading at $33.8, but mostly holding steady after a quick correction once the IPO buzz wore off, a pattern that most investors should recognize.

The closest comparison we have for Coupons.com (NYSE: COUP) is Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN), and it’s one that should make post-IPO investors wary. When Groupon had its IPO in 2011 it set its issue price at $20 and had a healthy bump to the high 20s before falling down to less than $5 when people realized it was losing money, had no plan on how to stop losing money, and didn’t have any kind of moat to keep anyone with a computer from pushing into the market you (can see this website’s position on the Groupon IPO here). The stock has recovered to $8.55, but the company is still shaky.

Coupons.com continues to lose money

Coupons.com Inc (NYSE:COUP) is basically the same story – it’s losing money, the business model is easily reproducible, and investors are incredibly excited to buy more.

Over the last three years Coupons.com Inc (NYSE:COUP) has had growing revenues, but its losses haven’t been consistently shrinking: it had $23 million in losses on $92.3 million revenues in 2011, $59.2 million in losses on $112.1 million revenue in 2012, and $11.2 million in losses on $167.9 million revenue last year. Getting excited about the company means restricting yourself to the two most recent data points. Now Coupons.com has a market cap of about $336 million. Founded in 1998, it’s enough to bring back memories of the dot.com era, and anyone who is still buying its stock now may just get a sharp reminder of how that turned out.