Groupon is starting to look like a good buy for investors again. The daily deals company's shares surged 18% yesterday, and climbed further in after-hours trading after it recorded its first-ever quarterly profit, excluding a one-off charge for tax expenses, reports Reuters. Revenue leaped 89% from a year earlier to $559.3 million. Groupon now has 36.9 million customers, and it served more than 100,000 merchants last quarter while marketing costs dropped sharply, say company officials.
"We got a lot of leverage from reduction in marketing expenses,” the Chicago-based company's chief financial officer tells BusinessWeek. “We’re getting much more efficient with our paid marketing, and our organic customer growth continues to stay strong." The company plans to expand its business further in coming months with new mobile applications. Even with yesterday's gains, however, Groupon shares are well below the $20 level set in its IPO last November, which was followed by a 48% decline over the next six months.