Groupon Bucks Downtrend in Tech After Firm Upgrades Shares

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Internet coupon provider Groupon (GRPN) are rising slightly in a down market after research firm B. Riley upgraded the stock to Buy from Neutral in a note to investors earlier today. 

WHAT'S NEW: About 25% of Groupon's gross billings in Q2 have easy year-over-year comparison and about 25% of its gross billings in Q3 will be in a similar situation, B. Riley stated. Meanwhile, technology upgrades on Groupon's overseas products should increase the company's productivity and its efforts to increase its margins on products it sells are becoming more effective, the firm stated. Groupon's gross billings growth, excluding acquisitions, should accelerate during the rest of the year, B. Riley forecast. Moreover, the margins on its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, excluding certain items, should rise to 15% by Q4 from 5% in Q1, according to B. Riley Along with upgrade of its rating, the firm raised its price target on the stock to $9.50 from $6.

PRICE ACTION: In mid-morning trading, Groupon rose 0.5% to $6.50, while the S&P 500 was down 0.7% and the Nasdaq was down 1.4%.

Reporting by Larry Ramer.

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