Time to give up on Groupon

Daily-deals site should have no credibility on Wall Street, yet investors are still buying

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Just days after Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN) had to make yet another revision to its finances, just days after the daily-deals site settled an $8.5 million combined lawsuit regarding illegal coupon expiration dates, just days after the Chicago firm was hit with a shareholder lawsuit accusing it of misleading investors, and just days after it was announced that the Securities and Exchange Commission was again investigating Groupon, the company's stock continues to attract buyers.

Seriously, what is wrong with these people?

Certainly it's too late for the idiots who bought shares at more than $31 when Groupon went public last November. Groupon's stock is now selling for less than half that, and I'll tell you right now it's never going to climb above $30 again. The company continues to lose a ton of money, and it essentially has no internal controls.

But you'd think people jumping on board now would know better. Hey, new Groupon investors, I hear Bernie Madoff's starting a new investment business from prison. Get in on the bottom floor!

Maybe they think they're getting some kind of bargain because Groupon hit a new low of 14.01 early Thursday (shares were at 14.35 in the early afternoon). Well, if it's lows they're looking for, they should be more patient because more new ones are coming.

However, they'd be better off being smart than patient. Here's the thing, investors: Whether it's due to incompetence or something far worse, Groupon has proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that it can't be trusted.

Investors aren't supposed to sink money into something they don't trust. That's what casinos are for.

I'm going to feel bad for Groupon's employees when the company implodes, something I've long suspected could happen.

The investors, on the other hand, should have known better. All the signs of trouble were there, in blinking neon.

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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