Yelp Inc. (
reported a loss of 3 cents in the third quarter of 2012, which
was in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, this was
much better than a loss of 24 cents reported in the year-ago
Revenue growth was impressive in the reported quarter,
increasing 63.1% year over year to $36.4 million and in line with
the consensus mark. In the third quarter, local revenue surged
81% year over year to $28.5 million, while Brand revenue
increased 28% from the year-ago quarter to $5.9 million. Customer
repeat rate increased slightly to 72% in the quarter.
Operating metrics such as cumulative reviews, average monthly
unique visitors and active local business jumped 49%, 37% and 82%
year over year, respectively reflecting strong business growth
across all markets in the reported quarter. Claim local
businesses hit 889,000, which surged 68% year over year in the
Yelp launched its services in 4 international markets
including Helsinki and Singapore. In the United States, the
company launched services in Albuquerque and Jacksonville during
the quarter. Yelp's service now touches 96 markets in total in 19
Most recently, Yelp announced the acquisition of Qype, an
European local review website for $50.0 million. The acquisition
is expected to expand Yelp's presence in European markets of
Germany and United Kingdom.
Yelp's popularity on mobile devices continued to rise in the
quarter, as approximately 25% of average monthly unique visitors
were mobile device users. More than 8.0 million unique mobile
devices on a monthly average basis used Yelp mobile apps during
The strong growth was further driven by the availability of
new mobile operating system iOS 6 and the integration of Apple
Maps and Siri.
Yelp reported adjusted earnings before interest, taxes,
depreciation, and amortization ("EBITDA") of $2.2 million
compared to a loss of $0.9 million in the year-ago quarter.
Sales and marketing expenses rose 43.0% year over year to
$21.3 million. The majority was spent on enhancing sales and
marketing headcount in order to drive business in the new
markets. Investments in overseas markets were approximately $3.0
million compared with $1.7 million in the year-ago quarter.
Product development costs soared 67.8% year over year to $5.8
million, while general & administrative expense jumped 46.6%
from the year-ago quarter to $7.0 million.
Higher level of investment hurt profitability as Yelp reported
an operating loss of $2.0 million in the quarter. However, this
was much better than the year-ago quarter loss of $3.4
Net loss was $2.0 million compared with net loss of $3.8
million in the year-ago quarter.
Yelp exited the third quarter with $123.0 million in cash
& cash equivalents. Cash from operations was $0.7 million in
Yelp expects revenue in the range of $40.0 million to $40.5
million for the fourth quarter of 2012. Local revenue is
projected to grow approximately 75% over the year-ago quarter,
while Brand revenue is expected to be flat to down. Adjusted
EBITDA is expected to be in the range of $1.25 million to $1.5
The company raised its full year revenue and adjusted EBITDA
guidance. Yelp now expects revenue to be in the range of $136.4
million to $136.9 million, (prior guidance $135.0 million to
$136.0 million), up approximately 64% year over year for full
year 2012. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be in the range of $3.5
million to $4.0 million (prior guidance $3.0 million to $4.0
Yelp's positive guidance reflects strong growth in user base
(particularly mobile), expansions into new markets (both domestic
& international) and partnerships with Apple and
Bing. We believe that mobile presents a significant monetization
opportunity for Yelp and the partnerships with Apple and
Microsoft will boost its top-line growth from this segment over
the long term.
However, increasing investments are expected to drag
profitability in the near term. As Yelp continues to explore and
expand into new markets, sales & marketing expenditure is
expected to increase significantly, thereby hurting margins going
We are Neutral on Yelp over the long term (6-12 months).
Currently, Yelp has a Zacks #3 Rank, which implies a Hold rating
over the short term.
APPLE INC (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report
MICROSOFT CORP (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis
YELP INC (YELP): Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.