Groupon’s Latest Value Raises Doubt — Andrew Ross Sorkin – NYTimes.com

It looks mightily overvalued still…, but as the article notes:

in fairness, it must be acknowledged that LinkedIn, which had its I.P.O. earlier this year and was criticized for being overhyped, is worth about $9 billion. If you believe LinkedIn’s valuation makes sense, you should load up on Groupon because it looks downright cheap by comparison. (I may have a bridge to sell you, too.)

Here’s just one data point for comparison: LinkedIn is trading at 195 times its free cash flow. If Groupon were valued using the same multiple, it would be worth a whopping $48 billion.

Groupon is planning to sell only about 5 percent of the company, or 34.5 million shares, to the public initially. Having such a small amount of the company available should, at least temporarily, help keep interest high. (The laws of supply and demand are incontrovertible.)

None of this is to suggest that Groupon isn’t a great success story. The three-year-old company has built a remarkable business, upending the direct marketing industry. But that doesn’t mean the company is worth $10 billion — at least not yet.

Read the whole article here: Groupon’s Latest Value Raises Doubt — Andrew Ross Sorkin – NYTimes.com

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