Securities class action filed against Groupon

Posted on: April 27th, 2012 by Steve Larson

A securities class action lawsuit against Groupon was filed in Illinois on behalf of investors.  The complaint, filed April 16, 2012, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleges that Groupon violated the federal securities laws by issuing false and misleading statements to investors.

The class action is intended to include investors who purchased or otherwise acquired shares of Groupon common stock between November 4, 2011 and March 30, 2012.  The deadline to move the court to be lead plaintiff is June 4, 2012.

The lawsuit alleges that Groupon and its underwriters failed to disclose negative trends in the company’s business and weakness in its internal financial controls, causing its stock to trade at artificially high prices during the Class Period.

Groupon went public in November 2011.  The company initially priced its stock at $20.00 per share, but the stock price rose as high as $27.78 during thd Class Period.

On March 30, 2012, Groupon surprised the market with an announcement that it would revise its fourth quarter, 2011 financial results.  The revision, the company said, would include a reduction in revenue and an increase in operating expenses.  Groupon also noted, “In conjunction with the completion of the audit of Groupon’s financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2011 by its independent auditor, Ernst & Young LLP, the Company included a statement of material weakness in its internal controls over its financial statement close process in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011.”

Following the announcement, Groupon’s stock declined sharply, losing nearly 17 percent of its value on April 2, 2012, closing at $15.27.  The stock has continued to decline, and on April 16, 2012, closed at $12.67.