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Groupon turns a profit, but sales fall short

The daily deal pioneer made money in the latest quarter. But sales were weak, and the stock is tanking.

Pressure is on for the much-maligned pioneer of daily deals.

Groupon turned a profit in the second quarter, but its sales fell short of expectations as demand for daily coupons softened.

Sales rose 45 percent to $568.3 million compared with the year-ago quarter, but Wall Street was looking for sales of $574.8 million. The Chicago-based company posted net income of $28.4 million, or four cents a share, compared with net loss of $107.4 million, or 35 cents a share, a year earlier.

Direct billings, which reflects the total amount collected from customers, rose 37 percent year-over-year to $1.29 billion in the second quarter.

"We had a solid quarter despite challenges in Europe and continued investment in technology and infrastructure," Groupon CEO Andrew Mason said in a statement. "We've deepened our relationships with a growing base of merchants and customers worldwide, demonstrating progress as we work to unlock the opportunity in local commerce."

Groupon, which went public last November at $20 a share, has been under major pressure. The stock, which rose more than one percent today to close at $7.55, was down more than 14 percent in after-hours trading. It's off more than 60 percent in the past six months.