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Coupons.com IPO Going Out Strong

Paul Ausick

Promotions and coupon website Coupons.com Inc. (NYSE:COUP) priced its initial public offering Thursday night at $16 a share, above the expected range of $12 to $14. The company also added 500,000 shares to its original plan to issue 10 million shares. Gross proceeds from the IPO will be $168 million and the company's valuation will hit $1.2 billion. Shares begin trading Friday morning.

Goldman Sachs, Allen & Company, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and RBC Capital Markets are the underwriters and have an option to purchase an additional 1.575 million shares.

The company's revenue grew from $112.1 million in 2012 to $167.9 million in 2013, for sales growth of almost 50%. The company's operating loss of$59.38 million in 2012 shrank down to an operating loss of $10.31 million in 2013. Last year Coupons.com conducted more than 1.3 billion transactions in which consumers selected a digital coupon or redeemed a coupon code -- a 43% increase over 2012.

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Coupons.com was founded in 1998, and it took the company a full three years to kick out its first coupon. The firm's revenue comes when customers use the coupons it offers through manufacturers or stores. The site also sells advertising on its own website and on third-party sites where its coupons are promoted.

The company wants to gain a position in the mobile device world, but that means competing with mailers and newspaper inserts that dominate the coupon world. Not a slam-dunk by any stretch of the imagination.

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