Groupon shares leap 28 percent as comeback effort accelerates
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Shares in Groupon Inc (GRPN.O) soared as much as 28 percent on Thursday, chalking up their biggest one-day gain after the once-struggling Internet discounts website showed signs its turnaround effort was gaining momentum.
The five-year-old company, which announced a $300 million share repurchase program on Wednesday, reported a better-than-expected 7 percent jump in second-quarter revenue as sales in the United States and Canada climbed 45 percent.
With its daily deals business model in steep decline, Groupon has tried to re-invent itself as a more traditional e-commerce business that sells long-term deals, particularly through its smartphone app. But that gets the company deeper into a hotly contested market dominated by Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and eBay (EBAY.O).
Eric Lefkofsky, who was named CEO on Wednesday, has pushed a more mobile-centric strategy since the company fired his fellow founder Andrew Mason in February. Mason had presided over a precipitous share price decline, to below $5 from its $20 debut in 2011.
Several brokerages including Credit Suisse, UBS and JP Morgan raised their price targets on the stock on Thursday. The shares surged to a high of $11.18 and were up 27 percent at $11.06 in late morning trade.