Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) witnessed an increase in short interest for the month of October, bringing the total to about 89.31 million shares as of Oct. 15, which is an increase of 5.1% from the Sept. 30 total of 85 million shares. Currently 20% of the company’s shares are short sold.Groupon Inc Short Interest Up In October By 5.1%

Analysts rate Groupon a Hold

Recently a number of analysts assigned their rating to the stock. Brean Capital analysts initiated coverage on the stock, assigning a Buy rating and a price target of $8 in a research note to investors on Oct. 21.  Evercore Partners lowered their rating from Equal Weight to Sell in a research note to investors on Oct. 10. They have now assigned a price target of $5.50. Finally, analysts at Zacks maintained a Neutral rating on the stock in a research note on Sept. 25. They have assigned it a price target of $7. Currently Groupon has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $8.43.

According to a recent report from Sterne Agee analysts Arvind Bhatia and Brett Strauser, Groupon previously set three goals. The first one was to escalate growth in the company’s local business and achieve a double-digit revenue increase in North America. Another goal that was set is to increase the gross margin and operating efficiency of the Goods division and achieve a double-digit gross margin there by the fourth quarter. Groupon Inc’s third goal was to stabilize its International business and to narrow losses in the rest of the world.

Will Groupon hit the goals in 3Q?

Groupon is scheduled to post its third-quarter earnings after the closing bell on Thursday. Analysts as well as investors are expecting that the company will be able to hit the previously stated goal of year over year billing growth in the double digits.

Analysts at Sterne Agee are expecting the company to post revenue of $746 million, compared to the consensus estimate of $749 million and the company’s guidance in the range of $720 million and $770 million. EBITDA is expected to be at $67 million, compared to the consensus estimate of $60 million and the company’s guidance of between $50 million and $70 million. Analysts are also hoping for a 30% surge in billings, compared to the 29% increase in the previous quarter. International billings are expected to grow by 49%, while 11% growth is expected in North America.