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TheStreet Open House

11 Stocks to Play the Groupon IPO


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Another Groupon IPO play that to put on your radar is OpenTable (OPEN), which provides solutions that form an online network connecting reservation-taking restaurants and people who dine at those restaurants. This stock has struggled so far in 2011, with shares off by around 25%.

Earlier this year, OpenTable launched a service called Spotlight that allows restaurants to sell Groupon-like restaurant coupons as weekly deals through its Web site. The great part about this service for OpenTable is that the company retains half of the revenue from the sales. This could easily attract traders to get long some OPEN ahead of the Groupon IPO, and just like Travelzoo, OpenTable is another heavily shorted stock.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for OpenTable is an extremely large 40.3%. It's also worth pointing out that the bears have been increasing their bets from the last reporting period by 19.6%, or by about 1.4 million shares. With this large of a short interest, OPEN could easily see a big short squeeze if the Groupon IPO takes off.

The way I would play this stock in front of the Groupon IPO would be to buy it once it breaks out above $53 a share on strong volume. Look for volume that's tracking in close to or above its three-month average action of 1.49 million shares. You could also buy the stock off weakness near $48 to $47 a share. Make sure to have tight mental stops in place to protect your capital. This stock could easily run up to $58 or higher if we see a Groupon-inspired short squeeze.

Open Table was highlighted on a list of 4 Resilient Tech Stocks for a Tough Economy.

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