Groupon Inc Upgraded By B. Riley

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Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) is moving into a time when year over year comparisons will be much easier. As a result, B. Riley analysts have upgraded the company’s stock, citing those easier comparisons as well as improvements in operations, which are expected to drive more organic growth. Their price target increase from $6 to $9.50 per share represents a massive 47% premium from Monday’s closing price, suggesting that they see Groupon as one of Wall Street’s best deals right now.

Groupon remains down year to date

Shares of Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) have struggled since the company’s initial public offering. Year to date, the stock is down by almost 46%, and since the IPO, shares are off by 76%. In a report today, analyst Sameet Sinha said management problems have been plaguing Groupon for some time. The analyst added that management could remain a trouble area going forward as well.

Sinha said their upgrade is mainly based on management being able to execute on their promises. The analyst believes Groupon management’s promises are doable, based on the firm’s “sensitivity analysis.” However, Sinha also adds, “Management’s execution has been spotty, and points of failure are many, which could lead to the company missing its goals.”

Groupon tries to execute turnaround

Groupon aims to double its margins by the fourth quarter of this year and also start reducing discounting. The daily deals giant has also been in the process of transitioning away from a so-called “push” strategy, which involves pushing users to the site using emails, and toward a “pull” strategy, which involves attracting users who are already looking for deals. The new strategy reduces the pressure customers feel to purchase deals immediately.

The company has been criticized recently for how it uses capital, with some analysts believing that the company is wasting much of the capital it spends for the purpose of trying to grow its business.

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