UPDATE 3-Groupon shows signs of life, shares surge

Wed May 8, 2013 7:57pm EDT
 
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* North American daily deals business posts strong quarter

* Co-founder Lefkofsky takes control on analyst conference call

* Groupon board forms committee to start search for new CEO

* Shares rise 10 percent after-hours (Adds executive comments and analyst comments)

By Alistair Barr

May 8 (Reuters) - Groupon Inc's quarterly revenue rose a faster-than-expected 7.5 percent after the company's North American daily deals business turned in a strong performance, stirring hopes that the struggling company may have begun to turn things around.

Shares in the company, one of the most feted Internet market debutantes of 2011 before daily deals mania cooled, climbed almost 10 percent in after-hours trade. They have gained about 40 percent since the February ouster of co-founder and former CEO Andrew Mason, who was criticized for lacking the experience to run an increasingly global, public company.

Wall Street was cautious ahead of Groupon's results, so the company's "solid" performance triggered a particularly big gain in Groupon shares on Wednesday, analysts say.

"Margins came in better and they are re-affirming their full-year income guidance. It could have been worse," said Ken Sena, an analyst at Evercore Partners.   Continued...