Groupon Stock Up 12% In After-Hours Trading Following Mason Ouster (But Has Fallen Since)

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Andrew Mason’s loss may just be Groupon’s gain — at least as far as its shareholders are concerned.

Groupon’s stock price got a rapid and marked boost in after-hours trading today in the first minutes after it was announced that longtime CEO Andrew Mason has been ousted from the company. Within the first minutes of the news, Groupon’s stock had shot up as high as 12 percent from the $4.53 per share price at which it closed the official trading day. The stock hit an after-hours high of $5.10 at 4:20pm Eastern Time, according to the NASDAQ.

Share prices change by the second, of course, so it’s a bit of a horse race to obsessively monitor how the market responds to big news like this (Groupon’s own after-hours rally has since slowed down.) But the fact that there was a tangible initial pop shows that some investors see Mason’s ousting as a positive step.

Even so, Groupon has a long way to go: The company’s stock was priced at $20 per share for its November 2011 initial public offering. It has been steadily lagging for months now, and took a big dive this week after the company announced particularly lackluster quarterly results.

Though many staffers at Groupon will certainly be sad to see Mason go, he personally seems to be taking today’s events in stride. In a very candid memo to Groupon employees that has been posted online, Mason said that his removal as CEO was justified:

“I was fired today. If you’re wondering why… you haven’t been paying attention. From controversial metrics in our S1 to our material weakness to two quarters of missing our own expectations and a stock price that’s hovering around one quarter of our listing price, the events of the last year and a half speak for themselves. As CEO, I am accountable.”