Groupon closes higher following Northland coverage launch

|By:, SA News Editor

Northland's Darren Aftahi has started coverage on Groupon (GRPN +5.6%) with an Outperform and $13 PT. Much like Deutsche and Wunderlich, Aftahi praises Groupon's "ongoing transition from a push-based daily deal email platform to an increasingly diversified, targeted pull-based global commerce marketplace," and thinks the effort "lends itself well to both local and mobile."

He also likes the recent expansion of Groupon's platform to include brand discounts/coupons and better search capabilities, among other things. The company rolled out a major overhaul of its site and apps seven weeks ago, and has also stopped requiring site visitors looking to browse Groupon's deals to provide an e-mail address.

Short-covering may have once more contributed to Groupon's games. 42.5M shares were short as of Nov. 29. That translates into 10% of the float, and represents the highest short interest level reported for 2013.