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Groupon stock dives below IPO value as Black Friday nears

Traders offering bargains on bargain-offer paper

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Groupon's shares are now trading at around $17.50, $3 less than its IPO price of $20, after tumbling 28 per cent in the last day and a bit.

At the time of publication, the shares had dropped 13.05 per cent in the first two hours of trading on the Nasdaq today.

The stocks had already slid all the way back to where they started in Tuesday trading, dropping 16 per cent to $20.07, on fears that holiday shopping rivalry could be tough.

The daily deals site is facing some stiff competition from LivingSocial in the US over the Black Friday shopping period. LivingSocial, which is partly owned by Amazon, said on Monday that it would offer over 20 deals with national merchants.

Groupon only has one national deal, along with discounts on electronics and home goods, to offer its Black Friday shoppers.

"In the last few days, we've been hearing about LivingSocial stepping up promotions," Edward Woo, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, told Reuters.

"The concern is that there will be much more competition for Groupon going forward."

Apart from looking more generous over the holiday season, LivingSocial is also looking more dangerous, as it is reportedly looking to raise around $200m in private financing.

Sources told the New York Times that the coupon site was going to grab its millions from new and old investors as it rapidly expands its sales force and pushes into new markets.

Of course, tech stocks are notoriously wildfire, particularly in their first few months of trading, so the fall could be nothing more than a blip. Or it could mean that the gloss has come off those shiny new shares. ®

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