Groupon Stock Spike; Something's Fishy?


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Something looks fishy to regulators over on Wall Street. Groupon shares jumped an incredible 18.5% Monday from their close on Friday. Coincidently, Groupon announced their first profit ever in their first quarter earnings report for 2012, just after the stock market closed that evening. More than 16 million Groupon shares changed hands that day.

Now the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is investigating the matter, because something just doesn't add up from their perspective. If you recall, Groupon has performed poorly for investors since its public offering and stock prices have yet to even approximate IPO prices. In fact, shares have even dropped as low as 50% the Initial offering price.

In a recent letter to Groupon stockholders the company's CEO, Andrew Mason unveiled his plan to change the landscape of local commerce using Groupon's power of promotion. He also issued a warning to shareholders:

"I warned investors of a bumpy road—an unfortunate side effect of our unprecedented growth. Groupon has scaled to more than 11,000 employees and 48 countries in only three-and-a-half years. Why move so fast? We believe that Groupon is standing before an enormous opportunity, one that hundreds of competitors large and small have seen. Although there are risks in moving too fast, companies often don’t survive long enough to apologize for moving too slow."

So we'll see what the investigation turns up. It seems awfully suspicious that they were struggling for so long, then they elect some financially savvy board members and three weeks later they have a winning first quarter financial report. Boy do these guys know how to manipulate some numbers or what?