Groupon shares opened up 40 percent in morning trading at $28 per share, in the company’s first day on the NASDAQ index. In late morning, shares had slipped slightly to around $25 after hitting a high of $31.14.
The company priced its shares higher than expected at $20 per share on Thursday ahead of its public debut, for a valuation of approximately $1.3 billion, Bloomberg reported. It was the largest IPO for an Internet company since Google, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The markets overall were slightly down after some early morning uncertainty about how the Labor Department’s latest unemployment report would affect trading. The U.S. economy added 80,000 jobs in October, dropping the unemployment rate from 9.1 percent to 9 percent.
Tech IPOs seemed to be scorching hot this past spring, when LinkedIn shattered expections by jumping nearly 100 percent in the first few minutes of trading. But the company recently saw its stock fall after reporting its third quarter earnings. It reported its first quarterly loss, despite a rise in revenue and earnings. That, along with Groupon’s very high-priced IPO, have set off whispers about a social media bubble reminiscent of the tech’s high-flying decade in the ‘90s.
Going against those claims, Will Oremus of The Post’s sister site Slate said that this is not a tech bubble, though he does say that Groupon is far from a sure thing. But that risk, he said, could prove profitable if it manages to fend off competition from competing sites and if it can manage to grow up a little bit. It’s a good thing to look at the warning signs that have cropped up about the company, but market-watchers should be wary of seeing Groupon’s performance — good or bad — as indicative of the whole industry.
Tech is not what’s in a bubble, Oremus argues. “If anything, we’re caught up today in a bubble bubble,” he wrote. “So spooked are we by the trauma of the last two crashes, we’ve begun to see bubbles everywhere.”