What happened

Daily deals specialist Groupon (GRPN -9.62%) soared 54% higher last year, compared to a 19% rise in the broader market, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

It was a volatile period for shareholders, with the stock falling by as much as 10% in 2017 -- and climbing by over 70% -- before settling on its 54% calendar-year gain.

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So what

Groupon made steady progress at streamlining its business in the last year while shifting toward more profitable business lines like its local selling marketplace. The most recent quarterly performance demonstrated the mixed impact of those moves. While revenue fell 14% in its key U.S. market, Groupon booked a slight uptick in overall profit as gross earnings improved to $208 million from $202 million a year ago.

A person is holding their credit card while working on a computer.

Image source: Getty Images.

Its 14% increase in local marketplace volume, meanwhile, shows that many brick-and-mortar retailers are finding value in marketing their products through Groupon's digital deals platform.

Now what

Executives lifted their full-year profit outlook in early November and now believe the company will earn between $225 million and $245 million of adjusted profit -- up from their initial range of $215 million to $240 million. From there, its growth rate will largely depend on its success at making its deals platform attractive to a widening base of shoppers.

Its just-launched Groupon plus initiative marks an encouraging step in that direction, and investors will learn whether that service is meeting high expectations when the company releases its holiday-quarter results in the coming weeks.