There's a lot of investor optimism as well as some "question marks" about daily deal website Groupon's initial public offering later Thursday, Evercore Partners analyst Ken Sena told CNBC.
"There’s a tremendous opportunity ahead for Groupon and that’s why there’s so much excitement here," he said. "The big question mark that we still have is, can this business that’s very salesforce-intensive make that transition to more of a platform that...is much more self-serve."
Groupon's IPO is scheduled to price Thursday night in the range of $19 to $21 a share, although it could go higher than that, Sena said. According to his data, the website has 83.1 million subscribers as of March 31 and offers deals from nearly 57,000 merchants.
The biggest concern is the "take rate," or the number of people taking the company up on a given offer on Groupon's website. Sena is concerned that rate may slow at a time when Groupon is shifting its business model and facing increasing competition from Amazon.comand Google, among others.
As with other IPOs, Sena thinks there will be a lot of "enthusiasm out of the gate" for Groupon that will settle "more into what can be supported based on the cash flow."
CNBC Data Pages:
- Dow 30 Stocks—In Real Time
- Oil, Gold, Natural Gas Prices Now
- Where's the US Dollar Today?
- Track Treasury Prices Here
Disclosure information was not available for Ken Sena or his company.