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Groupon Gaps Higher on Upgrade

Tickers in this article: GRPN

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Investors may need an actual Groupon to buy shares of the company.

Deutsche Bank upgraded the Chicago-based e-commerce company to "buy" with a $10 price target, as Groupon enters its "2.0" phase. Analyst Ross Sandler noted the company is in a position to grow billings at a rate of 20% or higher, as mobile continues to be key theme for the company, and it develops better search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM), which could result in EBITDA being 30% higher than initially thought.

"Sentiment has improved since our initial November 'warm-up,' and now we are upgrading amidst the current transition phase before growth turns back up," Sandler wrote in a note.

Groupon started off as a daily deals company, but Sandler believes the next five to 10 years for the company are going to look extremely different than the company that went public less than two years ago. The company has three primary growth drivers in the future, Sandler noted. "Better activation of current subs (200m+) to customers through personalization, 2) driving new customers at the top of the funnel through mobile app and PC website, and 3) launching more selection, including new channels and further penetrating Goods."

Shares of Groupon were sharply higher in premarket trading on Friday, up 7.58% to $7.38.

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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