Groupon Inc Analyst Day Roundup: Analysts Bullish

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Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) analyst and investor day on Tuesday received a positive response from the market, with shares of the company up around 4% on Wednesday. Many analysts commented on the event, along with assigning ratings and price targets for the company.

Creating a marketplace is difficult

Deutsche Bank analysts noted that creating an internet marketplace is difficult, but once the “supply/demand flywheel” is settled, growth follows automatically. Citing Amazon, Alibaba, Uber and Airbnb, the analysts note that these companies have had success along the same lines. Previously, many argued that Groupon is not fit for the “marketplace” primarily due to its “tumultuous past” and low growth rates, however, Deutsche Bank analysts believe the struggle was due to “poor original choice in distribution.” Deutsche Bank analysts have assigned the firm a Buy rating with a price target of $8.

UBS analysts, who have a Neutral rating on the stock with a price target of $8.50, said that the company has presented an impressive plan for global e-commerce growth and expanding margins as it transforms from push e-mail to more of an e-commerce platform. Apart from the plan, another positive announcement was the exploration of strategic alternatives in Asia to improve the shareholder value.

“Given Groupon’s stock has underperformed the SPX (by 44 percent ytd), a path of meeting/beating expectations could see the stock reverse that performance,” noted UBS analysts.

Mobile next big thing for Groupon

With a Neutral rating and a price target of $8, Bank of America sees mobile as the next big opportunity “as N.A. mobile customers generate >$70 of additional gross billings annually vs. web only customers, and Int’l mobile penetration is 35 percent lower than N.A.” More and more investment from Groupon is directed towards mobile, and the company expects product innovation to accelerate next year. Based on this, analysts expect local billings growth to improve for the company.

Wunderlich analysts note that Groupon has hired e-commerce experts, and is using many industry-standard best practices to better its efficiency. For North America, the gross margin for the company is expected to grow over 15% by 2017, while for the EMEA the margin has already hit 17%. However, analysts are cautious over the company’s ability to compete with bigger e-commerce players or “expect investors to give that business a reasonable valuation multiple in the near term.” Wunderlich analysts have rated the stock as a Hold with a price target of $6.

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