Groupon goes for the gold in synchronized sinking

Daily-deals site joins Zynga, Facebook in torrid race to the bottom in stock price

How nice of our most-hyped social media companies -- Zynga, Facebook and, now, Groupon -- to neatly book-end the Olympics with their atrocious quarterly earnings reports. Maybe we should turn the process into an Olympic event and call it "synchronized sinking." Groupon’s shares tanked on Tuesday, sliding more than 27% to close at $5.51 after bouncing off an all-time low of 5.46. The Chicago-based company on Monday reported second-quarter net income of $28.4 million, or 4 cents a share, beating street estimates of 3 cents a share. But revenue of $568.3 million missed estimates, and the Q3 guidance -- which suggested operating income would be well below Wall Street expectations -- triggered lower share price targets from some analysts. Bottom line: Investors are greatly concerned that Groupon's revenue growth is slowing. Indeed, gross billings for Q2 were down 4% from the previous quarter. Groupon reported its earnings the day after the 2012 Summer Olympics ended in London. In the two days before the Games began, Facebook and Zynga also reported quarterly earnings that did not win many points with the judges on Wall Street. Their scores: * Facebook (NASDAQ: FU FB) shares, down 12% the day after Q2 earnings, 55% through Tuesday from all-time high of $45. * Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA) shares, down 37% the day after Q2 earnings, and 81% from all-time of 15.91. * Groupon shares, down 27%, and 82% from all-time high set on first day of trading last November. It's a close contest, but right now Groupon and Zynga are fighting for the gold.

Chris Nerney writes ITworld's Tech Business Today blog. Follow Chris on Twitter at @ChrisNerney. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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