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B. Riley Cuts Groupon, Says CFO Departure 'Makes Us Cautious' Amid Turnaround

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In a report published Wednesday, B. Riley analysts downgraded the rating on Groupon Inc (NASDAQ: GRPN) from Buy to Neutral, while reducing the price target from $9 to $7.

In the report B. Riley noted two reasons for the downgrade:

  1. The departure of the company's CFO, amidst a significant turnaround. This causes uncertainty regarding the trajectory of the turnaround.
  2. Increase in Coupang valuation, according to media reports, in view of the TMON sale price, which "reduces our confidence in higher than expected valuation for other Asian assets."

"As a result, we are reducing our applied multiple on 2015 AEBITDA from 12.5x to 10.0x, which is the median of other internet companies in the midst of a turnaround," the analysts said.

On Wednesday, Groupon's CFO Jason Child announced that he would be leaving the company for another opportunity on the West Coast. An interim CFO will take over while Groupon searches for a permanent CFO. Meanwhile, Groupon has filled the COO position by promoting Rich Williams, who was previously the President of North America.

Groupon has reiterated its 2Q and 2015 guidance, while increasing its share repurchase authorization by $200 million. "We are also cautious of the value of the Rest of World assets, which are on the block, but the value could be lower than expected and, hence, would not be a catalyst for the stock," the report added.

Latest Ratings for GRPN

DateFirmActionFromTo
Apr 2017Morgan StanleyDowngradesUnderweight
Mar 2017BarclaysInitiates Coverage OnUnderweight
Mar 2017CitigroupInitiates Coverage OnNeutral

View More Analyst Ratings for GRPN
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: B. RileyAnalyst Color Downgrades Price Target Analyst Ratings

 

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