Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) may have been right to turn down Google Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN)’s buyout offer a few years ago, as its total value has just crossed $7 billion, well over the $6 billion that Google had offered back in 2010. Groupon has had a rocky few years, but new management has brought down expenses and renewed investors’ confidence in the company’s ability to hit growth targets.
When Groupon first decided to stay independent when Google was offering $5.3 billion plus a $700,000 earnout, most people criticized the owner as being naïve or arrogant, acting as if the only purpose of starting a company like Groupon was to cash out when a larger firm got interested. Just last year Groupon’s share price hit incredible lows, bottoming out at just $2.63 per share, less than 10 percent of the value at its IPO.
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Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) shows that it’s got guts and discipline
With shares reaching $10.60 the company’s value has just topped $7 billion, and while the company’s share price did have a spike yesterday, it has been trending up for the last eight months, long before the rest of the market started to rally. While Groupon looked like it was going to follow the tired tech storyline of rapid growth, followed by just as rapid decline and an endless source for sharp jokes, Groupon has proved that it’s actually here to stay and that it is going to be a player in the consumer spending space.
“Groupon has shown better expense discipline under new management,” says Aaron Kessler of Raymond James and Associates. “We believe it is better positioned to go after the larger local/Goods opportunity.”
Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) avoided the Google death march
If Groupon had joined Google, it might not even be around anymore to enjoy its turnaround. Google has a long history of creating new services, and then abandoning them when it decides that it no longer matches the companies needs. Social search engine Aardvark, knowledge base Google Answers, Google Directory and other were shut down because people weren’t using them, but even Google Reader, once the most popular RSS reader, was shut down simply because Google didn’t think it was worth the effort to maintain. After two years of declining profits, Groupon probably wouldn’t have survived long enough to show us that its model is sustainable.