Why Groupon (GRPN) Is Selling at a Discount

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Groupon ( GRPN) plunged 4.6% to $9.93 in Tuesday trading after Chairman Ted Leonsis disclosed he had sold a number of shares in a series of Securities and Exchange Commission filings. On Monday, Leonsis disposed of 50,000 shares at $10.62 a share, on Friday he sold 50,000 shares at $10.77 a share and on Thursday 50,000 shares at $10.60 a share.

Leonsis engaged in the sales after purchasing 150,000 shares at his stock option price of 5 cents a share. He still owns 793,500 shares following the reported transactions.

On Wednesday and Thursday, CEO Eric Lefkofsky also sold a combined 454,166 shares, half at $10.27 a share and the other at $10.60. Following the transactions, Lefkofsky still owns a majority 108.9 million shares.

Prior to the declines Tuesday, shares of the Chicago-based company were trading higher in November after management's turnaround plans whet investors' appetites. During a post-earnings conference call, Lefkofsky detailed how the e-retailer was repositioning itself as a deals search engine.

The stock has climbed 104.7% year to date, leading the S&P 500's 25.57% gain. Discount competitor RetailMeNot (SALE) has gained 17% over the year, while micro-cap United Online  (UNTD), provider of numerous e-retail brands including Flowers Direct, has exploded 214.7%.

--Written by Keris Alison Lahiff.

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