Yelp (YELP) Raised to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Yelp (NYSE:YELP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Thursday. The firm currently has a $55.00 target price on the local business review company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target suggests a potential upside of 9.78% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Yelp is benefiting from rising advertisements on the platform. The company’s shift toward selling advertising plans without any fixed duration is leading to a robust increase in paying advertiser accounts. The collaboration with GrubHub is a tailwind for Yelp as it provides users with access to a significant number of restaurants available for food ordering on the platform. Besides, the company is witnessing acceleration in consumer traffic across app unique devices. Significant improvement in cumulative reviews is also encouraging. Shares have outperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis. However, sgnificant competition from Internet giants like Google, Microsoft’s Bing and Facebook is a concern.”

YELP has been the subject of several other reports. KeyCorp downgraded Yelp from an “overweight” rating to a “sector weight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 6th. Aegis downgraded Yelp from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and dropped their target price for the company from $45.00 to $34.00 in a research report on Wednesday, June 13th. ValuEngine downgraded Yelp from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 7th. SunTrust Banks set a $50.00 target price on Yelp and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 8th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus increased their target price on Yelp from $40.00 to $42.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 9th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $48.96.

Shares of YELP stock traded up $0.59 on Thursday, hitting $50.10. 40,136 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,647,877. Yelp has a 12 month low of $36.42 and a 12 month high of $52.50. The company has a market cap of $4.21 billion, a P/E ratio of 716.29, a P/E/G ratio of 8.43 and a beta of 1.32.

Yelp (NYSE:YELP) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 8th. The local business review company reported $0.12 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($0.02) by $0.14. Yelp had a return on equity of 0.74% and a net margin of 17.64%. The business had revenue of $234.90 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $232.26 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.25 EPS. Yelp’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.9% on a year-over-year basis. analysts anticipate that Yelp will post 0.3 EPS for the current year.

In related news, Director Geoffrey L. Donaker sold 8,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.00, for a total transaction of $328,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 14,055 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $576,255. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Geoffrey L. Donaker sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.00, for a total value of $82,000.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 8,055 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $330,255. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 201,803 shares of company stock valued at $8,954,835. Insiders own 9.00% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Janus Henderson Group PLC acquired a new stake in Yelp during the second quarter worth approximately $206,000. Sciencast Management LP acquired a new stake in Yelp during the first quarter worth approximately $230,000. Gideon Capital Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in Yelp during the second quarter worth approximately $245,000. AMP Capital Investors Ltd bought a new position in Yelp in the second quarter worth approximately $305,000. Finally, Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd bought a new position in Yelp in the second quarter worth approximately $367,000. 92.06% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Yelp

Yelp Inc operates a platform that connects people with local businesses in the United States, Canada, and internationally. The company's platform covers various local business categories, including restaurants, shopping, beauty and fitness, arts, entertainment and events, home and local services, health, nightlife, travel and hotel, auto, and others.

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