Yelp Inc. (YELP) Cut to Hold at BidaskClub

Yelp Inc. (NYSE:YELP) was downgraded by BidaskClub from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Friday.

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on YELP. B. Riley reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $36.00 target price on shares of Yelp in a research report on Friday, August 4th. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and set a $38.00 target price (up previously from $33.00) on shares of Yelp in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. Citigroup Inc. upped their target price on Yelp from $42.00 to $50.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Zacks Investment Research raised Yelp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $48.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $37.00 target price (up previously from $26.00) on shares of Yelp in a research report on Thursday, August 10th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty have assigned a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Yelp presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $40.58.

Yelp (NYSE:YELP) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 3rd. The local business review company reported $0.09 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.03) by $0.12. The firm had revenue of $209.90 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $204.89 million. Yelp had a return on equity of 1.60% and a net margin of 1.67%. The firm’s revenue was up 21.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.16 earnings per share.

Yelp declared that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, August 3rd that permits the company to repurchase $200.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the local business review company to reacquire up to 7.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

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In related news, Director Geoffrey L. Donaker sold 6,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.55, for a total value of $273,300.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, COO Joseph R. Nachman sold 6,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.28, for a total value of $248,820.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 131,115 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,019,082.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 232,610 shares of company stock worth $9,758,430. 10.10% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. bought a new position in Yelp in the second quarter valued at about $205,000. California State Teachers Retirement System boosted its holdings in Yelp by 1.0% in the second quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 137,621 shares of the local business review company’s stock valued at $4,131,000 after acquiring an additional 1,427 shares during the last quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in Yelp by 314.3% in the second quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 44,413 shares of the local business review company’s stock valued at $1,333,000 after acquiring an additional 33,693 shares during the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company boosted its holdings in Yelp by 2,704.0% in the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 59,922 shares of the local business review company’s stock valued at $1,798,000 after acquiring an additional 57,785 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Prescott General Partners LLC boosted its holdings in Yelp by 21.3% in the second quarter. Prescott General Partners LLC now owns 3,851,774 shares of the local business review company’s stock valued at $115,630,000 after acquiring an additional 676,251 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.85% of the company’s stock.

About Yelp

Yelp Inc (Yelp) connects people with local businesses by bringing ‘word of mouth’ online and providing a platform for businesses and consumers to engage and transact. The Company offers local business review sites. Yelp provides a platform for consumers to share their everyday local business experiences with other consumers by posting reviews, tips, photos and videos, and to engage directly with businesses, through reviews, its Request-A-Quote and Message the Business features, and by completing transactions on the Yelp Platform.

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