Groupon (GRPN), the popular daily deal company, saw brisk trading on its first day of public trading, peaking at $30 per share and closing the day at $26 per share.

That puts the company’s market value at $16.5 billion. Market value is the value of a company’s total number of shares — equal to the total number of shares multiplied by share price.

Overall, the share price increased 30.5 percent from an opening price of $20 per share, which was announced after the market closed last night.

Earlier this morning as trading started, GRPN quickly jumped to $28 per share, peaking at $30 per share at 10:48 a.m. Eastern Time.

Still, some analysts are concerned about the value of Groupon stock as a long-term investment.

“If you look at the company’s prospectus, they say they expect to see losses for the foreseeable future,” said Dun & Bradstreet tech specialist Lee Simmons in a call with VentureBeat last week.

Analyst Rocky Agrawal, who has previously written on VentureBeat about Groupon’s “tricky” math in SEC filings, said that Groupon stock was “a terrible investment” but that he would still be buying it.

“Unless the company substantially changes its business model, investing in Groupon will be like investing in a leaky bucket,” he wrote yesterday in a column.

“All of that said, I’ve put in my request with my broker for shares in the IPO because Groupon has scientifically engineered its IPO to inflate share prices.”

At the end of the summer, Groupon announced that in spite of revenue gains, it was still showing staggering net losses of $102.7 million for both the first and second quarter of 2011, a figure that was nearly three times the $36 million loss from Q2 2010.

The company’s IPO saw several delays leading up to and in the aftermath of the late summer and early fall’s market tubulence.

Groupon began with an offering of just 5 percent of its total shares for public trading starting November 4 and added 5 million shares late Thursday.


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