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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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Groupon results better-than-expected

Category : Business

Daily deals firm Groupon reports first-quarter results ahead of market expectations, with revenues up 7.5% and its net loss narrowing to $3.24m (£2.1m).

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Stock market ‘leaders’ are really losers – opinion

Category : Stocks

Investors are rummaging through Wall Street’s trash heap and scooping up Best Buy, HP, Groupon and other losers from 2012.

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VIDEO: Groupon founder ousted as shares dive

Category : Business

The founder and chief executive of Groupon, Andrew Mason, has been ousted.

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Groupon fires CEO Andrew Mason after daily coupon company’s value tumbles

Category : Business

Founder and chief executive watched company once valued at over $13bn fall to less than $3bn as demand for product dried up

The troubled online deals provider Groupon has ousted its chief executive, Andrew Mason, the once-lauded wundekind who founded the company.

Mason appeared on the cover of Forbes magazine in 2010 under the headline: Meet The Fastest Growing Company Ever. Google offered $6bn for the company in 2011. The company is now worth less than $3bn.

Investors and directors Eric Lefkofsky and Ted Leonsis will take over running the company until a new chief is found. Groupon’s shares soared in after-hours trading on Thursday.

Pressure had been mounting on Groupon as the demand for daily coupons, which make up most of its revenue, appears to be stalling. On Wednesday Groupon said first-quarter revenue would be $560m to $610m, well below the $647.7m analysts had been expecting, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Groupon’s shares lost more 24% of their value Thursday after its disappointing quarterly results. Losses from the Chicago-based company reached $81.1m in the fourth quarter, up from $65.4m a year earlier.

The company has tried to diversify, offering cut-price goods such as juicers and exercise machines. But the profit margins on sales of these products are small and analysts are unconvinced. “We are simply not convinced on the long-term earnings power of the rapidly growing Goods business,” Merrill Lynch analyst Justin Post said downgrading the stock to underperform, a rating equivalent to a sell recommendation.

The move brings to an end a remarkable career for Mason at Groupon. The company was once the darling of the new generation of internet firms, selling coupons to local businesses worldwide and taking a 50% cut of the proceeds.

After rejecting a bid from Google Mason took Groupon public in November 2011. The former music student listed the company on the Nasdaq stock exchange. The firm was initially valued at $13bn but it has been on the slide ever since.

Groupon’s board met to discuss Mason’s future last December but he managed to retain control thanks in large part to his shareholding, which controls 10 times as many votes as ordinary shareholders, and the backing of his co-founder Lefkofsky.

“On behalf of the entire Groupon board, I want to thank Andrew for his leadership, his creativity and his deep loyalty to Groupon. As a founder, Andrew helped invent the daily deals space, leading Groupon to become one of the fastest growing companies in history,” said Lefkofsky.

“Groupon will continue to invest in growth, and we are confident that with our deep management team and market-leading position, the company is well positioned for the future,” said Leonsis.

Good daily deal? Groupon surges on upgrade

Category : Business

An analyst raised his rating on Groupon to a buy. But many investors are still skeptical about the long-term viability of the daily deals company.

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Pre-Marketing: Obama pal gets into private equity

Category : Stocks

Also: Inside HP’s missed chance to avoid disaster. Groupon cancels all gun-related deals.

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Groupon’s Andrew Mason survives board meeting over CEO’s fate

Category : Business

Daily deal website has seen its share price tumble since its IPO as directors may still want to replace chief executive

Groupon boss Andrew Mason appears to have survived a fractious board meeting at the troubled daily deal website. But insiders said unhappy board members are still keen to oust the company’s once feted founder.

Directors at the online discounter met to discuss Mason’s future at a board meeting in Chicago on Thursday.

Mason, chief executive of the online daily deal firm once billed as the fastest growing company ever, said ahead of the meeting that it would be “weird” for the company not to question his leadership after the collapse in Groupon’s share price.

The discussion at Groupon’s regularly scheduled meeting comes amid reports of discontent between Mason and co-founders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell.

According to venture capital sources Lefkofsky backed Mason at the meeting. All three founders have “super-voting” shares that carry 10 times the votes of ordinary shares making it all but impossible to dismiss Mason as long as he has the support of his fellow founders.

“We hear the meeting was very contentious. The independent directors want him out. He’s in over his head. But basically you can’t fire this guy without his own permission,” said Sam Hamadeh, chief executive of the analyst PrivCo.

Paul Taaffe, company spokesman, said in a statement: “The board and the management team are focused on the performance of the company and they are all working together with heads down to achieve Groupon’s objectives.”

Mason, 32, founded Groupon in his twenties and built it into a web phenomenon that, according to Forbes magazine, was the fastest ever to record $1bn in sales.

Google offered $6bn for Groupon in 2010 but that was rejected in favour of an initial public offering (IPO). The share sale, in November 2011, was the largest tech IPO since Google and valued the the company at $13bn.

Since then, Groupon’s decline has been dramatic, and it is now valued at less than $3bn. Shares that sold at $20 at the IPO have sunk as low as $2.60, although the share price rallied to over $4.40 on reports that Mason’s days are numbered.

The reports about Mason’s future first surfaced on the tech blog All Things D.

Speaking about the reports at a conference held by the business news website Business Insider on Wednesday, Mason said: “Here’s a news flash: our stock is down about 80%, it would be weird if the board wasn’t discussing whether I’m the right guy to do the job. It’s their chief responsibility to ask that question.

“If I ever thought I wasn’t the right guy for the job, I’d be the first person to fire myself.”

The company has been hit by accounting irregularities, departures of senior staff and slowing sales, especially overseas. Recently the firm has diversified into new areas like Groupon Goods, which sells discounted items like heart rate monitors and yoghurt makers. Growth in that business has been good and Mason said this week was making $500m in revenues one year after its launch. But analysts point out that Groupon Goods has very small margins.

Groupon posted a loss of $2.98m in the third quarter and its shares hit new lows as it announced slowing revenue growth amid weakness in its European business.

“We have a North American business that’s growing … that’s really the model for what Groupon can be,” Mason said Wednesday. “Because of our strategy to grow quickly [in Europe] and capture market share, we didn’t invest in technology like we did in North America. We’re paying for that now. We now have the playbook, it’s the playbook for North America.”

Mason’s woes come amid signs of a major slump in the daily deal business model. LivingSocial, Groupon’s chief rival, is reportedly preparing to lay off 9% of its staff. The firm is part-owned by Amazon, which invested $175m in the company in 2010. That investment was virtually wiped out last month when Amazon reported a third-quarter net loss of $274m; $169m of those losses were driven by an impairment charge from its stake in LivingSocial.

Top hedge fund manager thinks Groupon’s shares are a deal

Category : Business

Chase Coleman bets on Internet turnarounds in Groupon and Yahoo.

The rest is here: Top hedge fund manager thinks Groupon’s shares are a deal

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Taken by itself, Groupon’s ([[GRPN]] +13.9%) new card reader is nothing special, says Morgan Stanley. But if it’s part of an end-to-end set of local merchant solutions that Groupon can pitch to daily deals clients, it could represent a big…

Category : Stocks

Taken by itself, Groupon’s (GRPN +13.9%) new card reader is nothing special, says Morgan Stanley. But if it’s part of an end-to-end set of local merchant solutions that Groupon can pitch to daily deals clients, it could represent a big opportunity. MS speculates such a solution would combine analytics tools, a voucher redemption platform, rewards/loyalty programs, and scheduling and inventory management tools. Groupon seem to be thinking along these lines, but so is Square. (CEO comments) Post your comment!

Read the original post: Taken by itself, Groupon’s ([[GRPN]] +13.9%) new card reader is nothing special, says Morgan Stanley. But if it’s part of an end-to-end set of local merchant solutions that Groupon can pitch to daily deals clients, it could represent a big…

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Facebook, Groupon hit new lows

Category : Stocks

The fun never ends for social media stocks as Facebook and Groupon continue to tumble.

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