Market Overview

Goldman Sachs: Groupon's Economics Are Getting Worse

Goldman Sachs: Groupon's Economics Are Getting Worse

Analysts at Goldman Sachs hold a bearish view on Groupon Inc (NASDAQ: GRPN) as investors are likely "too optimistic" on the company's growth profile. The firm's Christopher Merwin initiated coverage of Groupon with a Sell rating and $4.70 price target.

Groupon has succeeded in dramatically improving the customer experience through the launch of Groupon Plus, but this doesn't necessarily correlate with an uptick in customer frequency, Merwin commented in a note. Meanwhile, the stock's strong gains of late do assume an uptick in customer frequency that would solve the unit economics challenge, which management is trying to fix.

But the fact is Groupon's improved offerings are still in the "very early days" and investors may be getting ahead of themselves with the stock trading north of $5 per share, especially when factoring in "existential threats" from various competitors, the analyst argued. Also, Groupon faces a similar macro-related headwind as retailers do should retail sales slowdown.

Moreover, investors should expect the unit economics to also stall a potential margin expansion, Merwin highlighted. While Groupon is showing investors leverage in the P&L this is likely due more to SG&A savings than marketing leverage. In addition, the company lengthened the payback period on its marketing spend from just six months to a new range of 12 to 18 months which adds to the challenged unit economics of the business.

The case for selling the stock could be revised for the better if customer frequency metrics show signs of improvements moving forward, the analyst concluded.

Related Links:

Groupon CEO Rich Williams Tells Cramer The 'Old Paper Voucher Experience' Is Over

Groupon Is Trying To Evolve, But UBS Isn't Buying It

Image: Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos, Flickr

Latest Ratings for GRPN

Feb 2019Initiates Coverage OnNeutral
Sep 2018Initiates Coverage OnNeutral
Jul 2018MaintainsEqual-WeightEqual-Weight

View More Analyst Ratings for GRPN
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Christopher Merwin daily deals Goldman Sachs retail salesAnalyst Color Price Target Initiation Analyst Ratings Best of Benzinga


Related Articles (GRPN)

View Comments and Join the Discussion!

Latest Ratings

SMLPSunTrust Robinson HumphreyMaintains6.0
SEMGSunTrust Robinson HumphreyMaintains16.0
View the Latest Analytics Ratings
Don't Miss Any Updates!
News Directly in Your Inbox
Subscribe to:
Benzinga Trading Daily
Get pre-market outlook, mid-day update and after-market roundup emails in your inbox.
Market in 5 Minutes
Everything you need to know about the market - quick & easy.
Daily Analyst Rating
A summary of each day’s top rating changes from sell-side analysts on the street.
Thank You

Thank you for subscribing! If you have any questions feel free to call us at 1-877-440-ZING or email us at

Helios And Matheson's Stake In MoviePass Is Paying Off

Big Bank Q3 Earnings Cheat Sheet: The Thing That Matters Most For Each Bank