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Groupon stock hits lowest level since debut

Groupon stock fell Wednesday to its lowest price since the company went public last November. In June, the deal site's web traffic delined 15 percent from a year earlier, which may have contributed to the drop in Groupon stock.

By Pallavi GogoiAP Business writer / July 13, 2012

The Groupon logo inside the online coupon company's offices in Chicago is shown in this 2011 file photo. Wednesday, Groupon stock hit its lowest price since the IPO in November, owing to falling web traffic.

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP/File

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New York

Groupon's stock hit its lowest level Wednesday since the online deals company went public last November amid concerns about traffic to its website and its exposure to Europe's weak economy.

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Internet trends tracker ComScore Inc. said traffic to Groupon declined 15 percent in June from a year earlier. Groupon.com had about 12.2 million unique visitors last month from 14.5 million in June 2011.

In addition, a Citi Investment Research analyst expressed some concerns about Groupon's exposure to Europe and its weak economy. Mark Mahaney said Groupon gets a quarter of its revenue from Europe. The analyst said that this, along with currency exchange trends, will weigh on the company's chances of beating Wall Street's earnings expectations for the second quarter.

Groupon makes money by selling online deals for spas, restaurants and weekend getaways. Its stock has taken a beating from missteps with its financial reporting as well as concerns about growth.

While Groupon may not be able to top analyst estimates for the April-June quarter, Mahaney said Wall Street expectations are "reasonable." According to a poll by FactSet, analysts are expecting earnings of 3 cents per share on revenue of $576.5 million.

He kept a "Buy" rating on Groupon's stock but lowered his target price to $19 from $22.

Shares of Groupon Inc. fell 54 cents, or 6.5 percent, to close at $7.77 on Wednesday. Earlier it hit an all-time low of $7.72. Groupon's stock priced at $20 in the Chicago company's initial public stock offering.

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