Yelp’s Strained Review of Q1

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Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP) released first quarter financial results after markets closed Thursday. The company said that it had $0.02 in earnings per share (EPS) and $236 million in revenue, compared with consensus estimates that called for $0.01 in EPS and $235.34 million in revenue. The same period from last year had a net loss of $0.03 per share and $223.07 million in revenue.

During the quarter, advertising revenue increased 6% year over year to $227 million. At the same time, transactions revenue decreased 14% to $3 million.

Yelp also delivered 19% more ad clicks to advertisers versus the same period in the prior year while reducing their average cost per click by 8% over the same time frame.

Looking ahead to the full year, the company reiterated its guidance. Yelp expects to see 2019 net revenue growth in the range of 8% to 10% with adjusted EBITDA margins increasing 2% to 3% year over year. Consensus estimates are calling for $0.66 in EPS and $1.03 billion in revenue for the full year.

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

We are encouraged by the progress we have made on our plan to drive sustainable, profitable long-term growth for our shareholders. In the first quarter, we accelerated app user growth, launched new business products, and won dozens of national mandates. We also strengthened our most important verticals and delivered more value to our advertisers. We expect these early wins and our continued focus on our 2019 initiatives to accelerate growth in the second half of the year.

Shares of Yelp closed Thursday at $39.74, with a 52-week range of $29.33 to $52.50. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $39.57. Following the announcement, the stock was down about 6% at $37.50 in the after-hours session.

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