Yelp Jumps on Surprise Earnings Beat

Chris Lange

When Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP) released its third-quarter earnings report before the markets opened on Wednesday, it posted $0.22 in earnings per share (EPS) and $186.2 million in revenue. The Thomson Reuters consensus estimates had called for a net loss of $0.03 per share and revenue of $183.02 million. The same period of last year reportedly had a net loss of $0.11 per share and $143.56 million.

Cumulative reviews grew 29% year over year to 115 million. At the same time, app Unique Devices grew 24% year over year to roughly 25 million users on a monthly average basis. Also, local advertising accounts grew 30% year over year to approximately 135 thousand.

Transactions revenue totaled $15.9 million, representing 33% growth compared to the same period of last year. Local revenue totaled $163.6 million, representing 41% growth compared to the third quarter of 2015.

In terms of guidance for the fourth quarter, the company expects to have net revenues in the range of $191 million to $195 million and adjusted EBITDA between $36 million and $40 million. The consensus estimates are $0.03 in EPS and $192.7 million in revenue.

Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp’s co-founder and CEO, commented:

We had an outstanding quarter in which Local revenue grew 41% year over year and we recorded the highest adjusted EBITDA in company history. We continue to pursue our mission of connecting consumers with great local businesses everywhere, and our local business in the U.S. has accelerated this year. We have not yet achieved the same level of traction internationally and we have decided to redirect our resources towards the domestic opportunity for now. This was not an easy decision as it affects our valued colleagues abroad, however it allows us to sharpen our focus on the large, profitable and rapidly growing domestic business.

On the books, Yelp’s cash, cash equivalents and short-term marketable securities totaled $432.3 million at the end of the quarter, up from $370.8 million at the end of 2015.

Shares of Yelp jumped more than 17% early Wednesday to$38.23, with a consensus analyst price target of $38.81 and a 52-week trading range of $14.53 to $43.36.