Seeking Alpha

Groupon, Inc. (GRPN)

  • Yesterday, 8:59 AM
    • Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) is up 3.9% premarket as it's agreed to sell a 46% stake in Ticket Monster to KKR and Hong Kong's Anchor Equity for $360M. It'll maintain a fully diluted 41% stake in the South Korean deals business.
    • The move values Ticket Monster at $782M (assuming full vesting of management's 13% stake) and means a gain on the sale of $195M-$205M. Groupon will receive $285M in cash with the remainder going to Ticket Monster.
    • The company has recast guidance to treat Ticket Monster as discontinued, expecting Q1 revenue between $720M-$770M and non-GAAP EPS between $0.01 and $0.03. Adjusted EBITDA is now expected between $58M-$78M for the quarter.
    • Groupon also approved a $300M buyback program upon the closing of the Ticket Monster transaction.
    | 1 Comment
  • Tue, Apr. 14, 9:38 AM
    • Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) has opened up 1.8% on news that a group including KKR is near an $800M deal to take control of Ticket Monster -- well above the $260M that Groupon paid for the South Korean deals site early last year.
    • The Wall Street Journal says the investment group, which includes Ticket Monster's management team, will sign a deal to take a 59% stake in the business and apply new capital.
    • Despite a small population of about 50M, heavy penetration of smartphone purchasing has made South Korean one of the world's top mobile commerce markets.
  • Mon, Apr. 13, 9:32 AM
    • Unloading (undervalued) businesses in the next four years should push Groupon's (GRPN +0.4%) market value closer to $6B, Gene Munster argues.
    • "What is safe to say is that Groupon has several stealth assets that are generally underappreciated by investors as far as overall value," Munster says.
    • The company's transition into a marketplace akin to or eBay means it may already be looking to divest business like South Korean daily deals site Ticket Monster -- which could bring $500M to Groupon. Smaller units could bring $30M-$100M each, Munster says, including its Breadcrumb point-of-sale unit.
    • Munster figures the assets (including Ideel and a stake in home services bookers ClubLocal) can be spun out or sold to private-equity buyers.
    • Groupon shares are up 24% in the past six months, but at $7.41 are still well below its 2011 IPO price of $20.
    • Previously: Groupon considers selling checkout-software unit (Apr. 07 2015)
    • Previously: KKR eyes stake in Groupon's South Korean unit (Mar. 31 2015)
  • Tue, Apr. 7, 4:30 PM
    • As it looks at ways to focus on becoming a shopping destination site, Groupon (GRPN +1.1%) is considering a sale of some portion of its checkout-software unit Breadcrumb, which it acquired in 2012 to make redeeming its deals easier on iPads, and turned into a key point-of-sale service.
    • Breadcrumb founder Seth Harris -- still with Groupon -- has reportedly said he's like to raise venture capital to spin the company back out as a standalone.
    • Groupon would still have a less fully featured checkout asset without Breadcrumb, which has more features targeted at restaurants and bars.
    • While it paid less than $15M for Breadcrumb, Groupon has been exploring bigger divestment as well, including its $260M purchase of Korea's Ticket Monster. The company said in its Q4 call that it was exploring alternatives for Ticket Monster, and KKR and Anchor Partners are talking about taking majority control there.
    | 1 Comment
  • Tue, Mar. 31, 7:00 AM
    • KKR (NYSE:KKR) and Hong Kong-based Anchor Partners are in talks to buy a majority stake in Groupon's (NASDAQ:GRPN) South Korean unit for around 350B won ($316M), Reuters reports quoting the Korea Economic Daily.
    • The two firms are in final talks to acquire a 51% stake in e-commerce firm Ticketmonster.
    • GRPN -1.5% premarket
  • Wed, Mar. 25, 2:28 PM
    • Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) is bucking a major tech selloff after Wunderlich's Blake Harper upgraded the daily deals leader to Buy, while hiking his target by $4 to $10.
    • Harper cites a survey (307 respondents) that shows "78% of respondents who recently purchased a Groupon intend to purchase another one within three months and most of the purchases (48%) would be for Local deals."
    • He adds Groupon's "Pull" strategy, which aims to get would-be buyers to seek out Groupon's site/apps rather than respond to e-mails is paying off. "Email, or the company’s “Push” strategy, has declined to 20%-25% of transactions for the past four quarters and is expected to remain stable around that level for the foreseeable future." Barrington's Jeff Houston made similar observations last month.
  • Tue, Mar. 10, 5:29 PM
    • Groupon (GRPN -0.8%) was down as much as 3.7% much of the midday, but rallied back to even, on word that Sequoia is investing $20M in Groupon India.
    • TechCrunch says the plan is for another two rounds of outside funding in 2015-2016 as part of making the Indian division more autonomous.
    • Sequoia is the all-time deal leader in India, TechCrunch says, accounting for 12% of startup venture rounds and 33% of capital raised by them in 2015 so far.
    • In its Q4 earnings, global units rose 340% in Groupon's "Rest of World" category thanks to its Korean deals site Ticket Monster, which CFO Jason Child noted was responsible for about a third of that segment's $400M in revenue.
    • From that call: "As a result we've been exploring a range of financing and strategic alternatives for TMON and our Asian businesses more broadly."
  • Tue, Feb. 17, 2:52 PM
    • Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) finished Friday up 6.8% as analysts came in with largely positive notes on its Q4 results, and shares are moving again today (+1.5%) as Barrington reiterates its Outperform rating.
    • Jeff Houston says Groupon is increasingly fulfilling demand rather than just generating it, and says he's "cautiously optimistic" on the firm shifting focus to non-email from email and increasing the profitability of its goods business.
    • He estimates Groupon will post Q1 revenues of $805.4M (slightly below newly lower analyst consensus of $824.8M) and earn $0.01/share.
    • Barrington has a $9 price target; GRPN is trading at $8.09.
  • Fri, Feb. 13, 11:49 AM
    • Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) stock swung from negative to postive and back again in post-session trading Thursday following its Q4 earnings beat, but shares are sharply higher today, +8.2%, as analysts come in with positive reviews.
    • B. Riley reiterated its Buy rating and target the stock price at $9.50.
    • RBC Capital maintains its Sector Perform rating, but boosts its own price target to $8 from $7.
    • Meanwhile, Brean sees a "wonderful buying opportunity," somewhat dependent on the sale of South Korean unit Ticket Monster, and an $11 price target.
    • Groupon is trading currently at $8.07.
    • Previously: Groupon Q4 in detail: Revenues keep shifting to goods (Feb. 12 2015)
  • Thu, Feb. 12, 5:17 PM
    • In its Q4 report, Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) notes global units (vouchers and products sold before cancellations/refunds) rose 81% Y/Y to 101M (up 11% in North America, 20% in EMEA and 340% in Rest of World, thanks to Ticket Monster). Active deals at year's end were about 370K globally (135K in NA), up from Q3's 300K.
    • Active customers up 23% to 53.9M (24.1M in NA, 15.2M in EMEA, 14.6M in Rest of World).
    • Billings per avg. active customer: $155, up sequentially from $149.
    • Segment info: Gross billings of $2.1B comprised $984.6M in North America; $560.5M in EMEA; $574.8M in Rest of World. Revenue breakouts: North America, $551M; EMEA, $272.5M; Rest of World, $101M.
    • Shift away from deals toward e-commerce continues: Local revenues were $302.5M (down 5%). Goods revenues were $581M (up 40%). Travel revenue of $41.9M (up 15.7%).
    • Eric Lefkofsky is delivering remarks now on the company conference call; shares currently -2.6% after hours.
  • Thu, Feb. 12, 4:24 PM
    • In a Q4 report that beat expectations, Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) notes gross billings were up 31% worldwide to $2.1B in Q4.
    • Adjusted EBITDA for Q4 was $87M, a bit shy of expecations of $91.8M. Gross profit was offset somewhat by investment related to acquisitions (Ticket Monster in Q1, and ideel).
    • The company guided to Q1 revenue of $790M-840M, short of expectations for $855.5M, and adjusted EBITDA of $45M-60M vs. an expected $77M. Groupon says Q1 non-GAAP EPS should be between $0.00 and $0.02, vs. consensus of $0.02.
    • Free cash flow was $266M, bringing trailing twelve-month free cash flow to $200.5M. Groupon has $1.1B in cash and equivalents.
    • Foreign exchange concerns hit the firm as it says excluding FX, revenue would have increased 25% rather than 20%; and gross billings would have increased 36% rather than 31% (North America up 20%, EMEA up 8% and Rest of World up 154%).
    • Volatile after hours, GRPN currently +0.5%.
    • Press release; conference call at 5 p.m. ET
    • Previously: WSJ: Groupon in talks to sell TMON stake at ~$1B valuation (Feb. 05 2015)
  • Thu, Feb. 12, 4:08 PM
    • Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN): Q4 EPS of $0.06 beats by $0.03.
    • Revenue of $925.4M (+20.4% Y/Y) beats by $17.02M.
    • Shares -5%.
    • Press Release
  • Wed, Feb. 11, 5:35 PM
  • Wed, Feb. 11, 11:54 AM
    • Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) is up 2.3% and rising ahead of tomorrow's Q4 earnings release.
    • Eyes will be on the company's 2015 outlook, after peer couponers RetailMeNot and traded off by guiding lower. U.S. billings and mobile spending should be keys.
    • Expectations are for a non-GAAP EPS of $0.03, on revenues of $908.6M -- which would be up 20% sequentially.
    • Deutsche Bank maintains a Buy rating and set a price target of $8, while on Monday Brean set a target of $11, and on Friday B. Riley set their target at $9.50. Shares currently trade at $7.59.
    • Previously: RetailMeNot sharply lower early on light guidance (Feb. 10 2015)
    • Previously: plunges after revenue miss, low guidance (Feb. 09 2015)
  • Thu, Feb. 5, 11:14 AM
    • Groupon (GRPN +2%) is talking with P-E firms and South Korean conglomerates about selling a majority stake in its Ticket Monster (TMON) Korean deals platform for a valuation of around $1B, the WSJ reports. A deal could be closed by the end of March.
    • KKR and Samsung offshoot CJ Group are reportedly among the interested parties. With Groupon having struck a deal to buy Ticket Monster from LivingSocial for just $260M in late 2013, the company could be staring at a ~4x return on part of its investment. For reference, Groupon currently has a $5.1B market cap. Ticket Mosnter's 2014 GMV totaled $1.6B.
    • Groupon is rallying following the scoop, which comes ahead of the company's Feb. 12 Q4 report. A Korean site reported of P-E interest in Ticket Monster last month.
  • Thu, Jan. 15, 9:28 AM
    • Evercore's Ken Sena has upgraded Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) and YELP to Hold, and respectively set targets of $8 and $60.
    • Regarding Groupon (downgraded on Oct. 10, when shares were at $6.38), Sena sees positive trends going into the company's Feb. 12 Q4 report. "Specifically, minutes-per-user has inflected positive for the third consecutive quarter, reflecting a combination of product enhancements and seller initiatives. Factoring this engagement improvement, coupled with expected proceeds from a partial [Ticket Monster] sale, lead us to step to the sidelines on shares."
    • Sena's Yelp upgrade is partly a valuation call: Shares have fallen 10% below his $60 target. In addition, the company is seeing improving unique visitor growth (a recent concern), ad loads are showing "some signs of increase," and Evercore's survey work points to "continued seller reliance" on Yelp's platform.
    • Nonetheless, he maintains "some concerns with the business as seller commentary remained negative for 18 of the 43 business owners surveyed, reflecting concerns around review handling and ROI." New competitive efforts from Google, Facebook, and Groupon are also a concern.
    • YELP +1.9% premarket. GRPN +0.5%. In spite of recent market choppiness, Groupon remains up 24% from where it traded going into its Q3 report.
    | Comment!
Visit Seeking Alpha's
GRPN vs. ETF Alternatives
Company Description
Groupon Inc provides a local e-commerce marketplace that connects merchants to consumers by offering goods and services at discount. The Company features a daily deal on stuff to do, see, eat, and buy.