SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Groupon Inc. GRPN shares plunged 27% to $4.24 Thursday in the wake of the online daily deal company's disappointing quarterly results and outlook. On Wednesday, Groupon reported a fourth-quarter loss of 12 cents a share, or 5 cents a share excluding one-time items. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast Groupon to earn 3 cents a share. Groupon also gave a first-quarter sales outlook that fell short of Wall Street analysts' estimates. Several analysts cut their ratings on Groupon's stock, with Bank of America/Merrill Lynch analyst Justin Post cut his rating on Groupon's stock to underperform from neutral, mostly due to concerns about the company's lower gross margins. Groupon's share-price drop triggered a short-sell circuit breaker on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
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