Morgan Stanley Downgrades Yelp (YELP) to Underweight

Yelp (NYSE:YELP) was downgraded by stock analysts at Morgan Stanley from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday, MarketBeat Ratings reports. They currently have a $29.00 target price on the local business review company’s stock, down from their prior target price of $31.00. Morgan Stanley’s price target would suggest a potential downside of 15.94% from the company’s current price.

YELP has been the topic of several other reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered Yelp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, September 28th. Cowen set a $39.00 price target on Yelp and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, November 9th. Deutsche Bank lowered Yelp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and reduced their price target for the stock from $64.00 to $34.00 in a research report on Friday, November 9th. MKM Partners reduced their price target on Yelp to $40.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, November 29th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered Yelp from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and reduced their price target for the stock from $57.00 to $36.00 in a research report on Friday, November 9th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $40.18.

Shares of NYSE:YELP opened at $34.50 on Thursday. Yelp has a 1 year low of $29.33 and a 1 year high of $52.50. The stock has a market cap of $2.97 billion, a PE ratio of 492.86, a PEG ratio of 2.85 and a beta of 0.99.

Yelp (NYSE:YELP) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, November 8th. The local business review company reported $0.17 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.08 by $0.09. Yelp had a return on equity of 1.34% and a net margin of 18.04%. The business had revenue of $241.10 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $245.55 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.29 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.0% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts expect that Yelp will post 0.37 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Yelp news, Director Geoffrey L. Donaker sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $30.37, for a total value of $60,740.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, COO Joseph R. Nachman sold 10,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.88, for a total value of $450,240.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 119,935 shares in the company, valued at $5,142,812.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 107,983 shares of company stock worth $4,352,066. 9.00% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in YELP. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group acquired a new position in shares of Yelp in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $161,000. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Yelp during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $194,000. Janus Henderson Group PLC acquired a new stake in shares of Yelp during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $206,000. Ibex Investors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Yelp during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $206,000. Finally, Hartford Investment Management Co. acquired a new stake in shares of Yelp during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $232,000. 90.40% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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.

Further Reading: Debt-To-Equity Ratio

Analyst Recommendations for Yelp (NYSE:YELP)

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